5 bonafide superstars from the Carolina Panthers 2022 season

(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Frankie Luvu
(Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images) Frankie Luvu /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Frankie Luvu /

Frankie Luvu – Carolina Panthers OLB

Frankie Luvu‘s special season began immediately and he never took his foot off the gas pedal. The fifth-year pro finished with 111 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, seven sacks, one fumble forced, four passes defended, and one interception, which he also returned for a touchdown.

The 19 tackles for loss rank second all-time in Carolina Panthers franchise history, only trailing a guy named Luke Kuechly who registered 20 back in 2018.

In my previous article detailing Luvu’s terrific season, we compared him directly to Roquan Smith for the sake of looking side-by-side at one of the highest-regarded off-ball linebackers in the NFL.

Smith was just voted to the NFLPA All-Pro team alongside Fred Warner of the San Francisco 49ers. He also just signed a five-year, $100 million contract extension with the Baltimore Ravens.

Before the 2022 season, Luvu signed a two-year $9 million contract. Not only is the one-time Washington State standout a star player on this football team, but he’s also one of the best values in the entire league.

Luvu earned a 74.8  grade from Pro Football Focus in 2022, placing him at No. 16 among all linebackers. But his season is even more impressive than that ranking would appear.

It’s worth remembering Luvu missed two games and still played a total of 941 defensive snaps.  Of all linebackers with 900 or more defensive snaps, he ranks No. 9 overall.

Having his name and play mentioned in the same discussion as Smith and Warner is certainly a flattering sentiment for Luvu. However, this isn’t the only accolade he deserves after what turned out to be a stellar season.

Panthers fans should be ecstatic to have a player and man of Luvu’s caliber on this roster. So don’t be surprised if those in power offer him a longer-term commitment this offseason.