Derrick Brown adopts elite mindset after Carolina Panthers extension

This is the right approach from Derrick Brown...
Derrick Brown
Derrick Brown / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive lineman Derrick Brown has already adopted an elite mindset after securing his long-term extension from the Carolina Panthers.

After so much mismanagement of top stars under previous regimes, Dan Morgan was not going to make the same mistake. The Carolina Panthers extended Derrick Brown to a four-year, $96 million deal with $63 million guaranteed, keeping their best overall player around long-term and making a huge statement of intent for good measure.

Brown was an absolute revelation in 2023. He's firmly regarded as one of the league's best interior defensive linemen, displaying brute force against the run and the ability to make plays even when double or triple-teamed. This is rare in the modern-day game and something the Panthers rewarded accordingly.

Derrick Brown avoiding complacency after Carolina Panthers deal

One doesn't have to look far around the league for examples of players becoming complacent once they attain an extra sense of financial security. For some, being paid handsomely diminishes their urgency and impacts production. Fortunately for the Panthers, this is not a mindset Brown plans to adopt based on comments via Pro Football Talk after officially signing his lucrative deal.

"You know, it’s an awesome feeling, I feel like the organization put the belief in me, and allow me just to be able to do what I do. Never put too much pressure on me, having high expectations for me always, but allowing me to just be who I am while doing what I do, right? I think it’s no pressure but high expectations. So it’s more what our coaches expect from us, and you have to use that voice to be the highest voice. And that allows me to be able to go out and not listen to too many people or let anybody else’s pain affect me and just be able to walk in a room and sit down and talk and then I know exactly what our game plan for the week is. Hearing you talk about it and being able to know just exactly what they expect for the week."

Derrick Brown via Pro Football Talk

This is refreshing, but not surprising. Brown's been all business since he entered the league at No. 7 overall in the 2020 NFL Draft out of Auburn. After a rocky start, the lineman came into his own from Year 2 onwards. This elite mindset should inspire a level of confidence better days are ahead as the player enters his prime.

The Panthers lost some established stars on the defensive side in free agency and via the trade market. This puts even more onus on Brown to produce the goods. He's being paid among the league's most dominant defensive linemen, so the production must match the lofty financial commitment.

There are very few safe bets when it comes to handing out big contracts. Based on Brown's trajectory, he's one of them. This is also a move that inspires belief that the Panthers will look after their own far better than Matt Rhule and Scott Fitterer accomplished. Something that could also make potential free agents start looking at Carolina differently moving forward.

Morgan doesn't have many legitimate franchise cornerstones. Brown is that and more - a tone-setting enforcer who leads by example through strong production and a winning mentality every single day.

If that rubs off on Carolina's revamped roster, they might just have a chance in 2024.