4 Carolina Panthers entering the 2023 offseason on a short leash

(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Ian Thomas /
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Carolina Panthers
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Shaq Thompson – Carolina Panthers LB

Shaq Thompson survived the Matt Rhule era but could still be in danger of losing his role this off-season. The linebacker is aging at the most expensive point of his career, even though he is still a very valuable piece.

Thompson will be the Carolina Panthers’ third-highest scheduled cap hit and if cut would save the franchise $13 million in cap space. Obviously, such savings make this move possible if both sides cannot work out a way for this deal to become more team-friendly.

As frustrating as it might be for Thompson and Panthers fans, this is the reality of the business. The former Washington star played on bargain deals in comparison to his production and now is finally getting paid, which may result in an early departure.

The NFL is a business and this is why fans should never begrudge players leaving their team for a contract or a more lucrative situation. Thompson looked a step slower this season and could be sacrificed to strengthen other areas.

Thompson is unlikely to have much trade value considering where he is in his career, the contract, and the depth at the position around the league. Simply put, his situation is worth keeping a close eye on this off-season.