3 pressing Carolina Panthers priorities after Derrick Brown extension

There is still a lot of hard work ahead...
Derrick Brown
Derrick Brown / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
2 of 3

Jaycee Horn's fifth-year option

With no established stars seemingly worthy of being extended ahead of time aside from Derrick Brown, attention quickly turns to Jaycee Horn's fifth-year option. This is a hot topic of debate among fans on social media and could legitimately go either way looking at how his career's unfolded up to now.

Big things were expected from Horn after the Carolina Panthers turned down several exciting prospects to select the cornerback at No. 8 overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. While his production when on the field has been highly impressive, there's another factor to consider where the gifted defensive back is concerned.

Horn's endured some troubling injury issues throughout his career. A broken foot and a significant hamstring tear are two reasons why the former South Carolina standout missed considerable time during the 2021 and 2023 seasons. Even when he got better luck in 2022, he still missed four contests.

The Panthers will rely heavily on Horn next season after trading Donte Jackson and letting C.J. Henderson walk. Any further health issues will be nothing short of catastrophic for Ejiro Evero's defense, which lost some key contributors throughout Dan Morgan's first offseason as general manager.

Considering the financial implications, it would be surprising if the Panthers didn't trigger Horn's contract clause. But that doesn't detract from the need to put a prolonged run of games together next time around.