3 Carolina Panthers with most to gain from final two games of 2023

There is still plenty to play for...

Deion Jones
Deion Jones / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Deion Jones - Carolina Panthers LB

Deion Jones has quietly emerged as a productive rotational player. Many wondered what the linebacker might be able to offer after he failed to make the initial 53-man roster. He's proved people wrong with improved consistency and an ability to contribute when called upon.

This has filled a hole in the short term. Jones has been a tailor-made replacement for Shaq Thompson. Whether it's enough to earn another new deal once his contract expires next spring is the big question.

Jones can enhance his chances under a new regime by showing out over their final two games. The Carolina Panthers aren't exactly blessed with significant depth at the defensive second level. Having the former second-round selection as a security blanket and a strong locker room presence couldn't hurt.

Things are hanging in the balance for Jones as it stands. The only way he'll improve his hopes of another contract - either in Carolina or elsewhere - is to stand out over the Panthers' final two games. Anything after that is out of his hands.

With Frankie Luvu out of contract and Thompson working his way back from a long-term injury, Jones' experience is an asset. One that the Panthers would be wise to keep around in some capacity if his next two games go according to the script performance-wise.

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