5 contracts holding the Carolina Panthers back right now

The Carolina Panthers have some financial complications in their immediate future.

Miles Sanders
Miles Sanders / Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports
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Donte Jackson - Carolina Panthers CB

  • 2024 salary-cap hit: $15.71 million

Donte Jackson remains a polarizing figure among the Carolina Panthers' fanbase. The veteran cornerback enjoyed one of his better seasons in 2023 - especially against the run. That hasn't stopped some sections of the team's long-suffering support from speculating about his future heading into the final year of his deal.

Jackson was given an extension in favor of Stephon Gilmore, who was allowed to walk. This decision remains an infuriating one for some fans who felt like it was not a smart business decision. Now, the chickens are coming home to roost.

The former second-round selection out of LSU is counting $15.71 million against Carolina's salary cap next season. Jackson is a solid CB2, but he's overpaid despite his increasing influence within the locker room.

This puts Brandt Tilis and Dan Morgan in a predicament. Do they ride things out with Jackson in 2024 before assessing whether or not to give him another extension? Or do they cut their losses with a post-June 1 release designation that saves them $10.52 million to spend elsewhere?

Carolina isn't exactly blessed with outstanding cornerback options right now. Jaycee Horn is the undisputed alpha but has gone through some significant injury problems. Jackson hasn't been the healthiest overall either - something that is going to provoke a discussion between those in power before concluding.