4 underrated moves that can propel Panthers playoff push in 2023

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Carolina Panthers
Shaq Thompson / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers retained Shaq Thompson

For all the good signings and exceptional coaching additions made by the Carolina Panthers this offseason, one particular arrangement with someone already on the roster cannot be understated. Despite speculation to the contrary, linebacker Shaq Thompson agreed on a reworked contract that added another year and split his $24.46 million cap hit over this period without much of a pay increase. 

Putting the team first is something Thompson's done on and off the field. This is just another example of his selfless attitude towards a franchise that took him in the first round of the 2015 NFL Draft. 

General manager Scott Fitterer couldn't have praised Thompson more after his retention was confirmed. Something that keeps a key defensive cog around and freed up additional funds to strengthen elsewhere along the way. 

"He's a team leader, one of the most unselfish people I've been around, and he wanted to be here. It's important for him to be in Carolina. He loves Charlotte; he loves the Panthers. What it came down to, we had a conversation. We sat down in the stadium, and we just talked man-to-man, and said, 'Hey, listen, what do you need? This is what we need.' We worked through it."

Scott Fitterer via Panthers.com

Keeping Thompson around gives young players someone to lean on for advice and guidance. It should also smooth the transition into Ejiro Evero's 3-4 base scheme and provide an assured presence on the second-level interior for good measure.