4 Carolina Panthers players that must be extended after 2022 efforts

(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Franklin
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Franklin /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Franklin /

Sam Franklin – Carolina Panthers DB/ST

Not everyone is going to become a prolific NFL starter. But that’s not to say they cannot carve out specific roles for themselves in some capacity.

Sam Franklin is a prime example of this. The defensive back joined three years ago as an undrafted free agent, immediately catching the eye and booking his place on the 53-man roster as a result.

Franklin’s been inconsistent at best when tasked with defensive snaps. However, he is among the league’s best players on special teams thanks to dedicating significant time to improving his craft.

The Carolina Panthers got plenty of big plays out of Franklin this season. He is now seen as a specialist on special teams, which is something he set out to do after accepting his fate further down the safety depth chart.

"“I could be the starter, but it was a far stretch. So it was like, ‘How do I beat out other people on the team?’ I felt like it was just special teams… So I was going to try any and everything; no matter what special teams (position) they put me at, I was going to go out there, and I was going to win.”"

Franklin’s production is more than deserving of a new deal. Players like this are often overlooked in the grand scheme of things, but their importance cannot be understated.