4 Panthers players that could be extended on the cheap in 2023

Dean Jones
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Cam Erving
(Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) Cam Erving /
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Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Sam Franklin /

Sam Franklin – Carolina Panthers DB/ST

Special teams’ production is an often overlooked part of the game but nonetheless important. There aren’t many leading contenders throughout NFL history that haven’t had outstanding production in this area, which is something the Carolina Panthers benefitted from in 2022 thanks to the exceptional turnaround masterminded by Chris Tabor.

One player that shone more than most is Sam Franklin. The undrafted free agent has carved out a niche for himself after featuring little on the defensive rotation, with Tabor’s influence taking his game to completely new heights last season.

Franklin was an unsung hero for the Panthers almost from start to finish. Now that Tabor has agreed to stick around under Frank Reich, the chances of the former Temple star doing the same have increased exponentially.

Working out an extension with the player should be straightforward and won’t exactly break the bank. This allows Tabor to keep one of his most dynamic special teamers and might even see Franklin carve out a rotational role for himself on defense with Ejiro Evero leading the charge.

Franklin deserves all the credit in the world. And if the Panthers do end up moving on – which seems unlikely – he won’t be short of offers once free agency gets underway.