4 Carolina Panthers players facing a fight for new deals in 2024

These Carolina Panthers players are looking to secure new deals.
Shaq Thompson
Shaq Thompson / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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Shaq Thompson - Carolina Panthers LB

Shaq Thompson's presence was sorely missed last season. The Carolina Panthers were expecting the veteran linebacker to be an influential presence within defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero's creative 3-4 base scheme. But an unfortunate injury after just two games ended his 2023 campaign way ahead of time.

Thompson remained around the setup and tried to keep spirits high as another season spiraled into oblivion, but it wasn't the same. The former first-round selection took another pay cut to stick around in 2024, but what comes after that is less certain.

This is a fascinating dynamic between Thompson and the Panthers. He's one of the team's longest-serving players - one of two remaining from Carolina's sensational 15-1 season in 2015 en route to the Super Bowl. That carries a ton of weight and holds complete respect in the locker room. Whether it's enough to guarantee another deal beyond the 2024 season remains to be seen.

As previously mentioned, general manager Dan Morgan is doing things differently. He's running the front office in the team's best interest. There is no loyalty to any player. Thompson has to prove himself just like everybody else, so it could genuinely go either way.

It's also worth remembering that the Panthers spent a third-round selection on Trevin Wallace during the 2024 NFL Draft. He came into the organization on Morgan's recommendation, who knows a thing or two about productive linebackers. After all, he was one himself.

Many believe Wallace is the heir apparent to Thompson if he transitions smoothly. This increases the urgency to perform well and have no ill effects from the broken fibula suffered during the 2023 season.

Thompson outlined his desire to finish his career in Carolina. He cares deeply about the franchise and is embodied in the Keep Pounding mantra. However, getting the job done in a competitive environment is the only way he'll get another contract.