Looking into Carolina Panthers' rookie extension candidates and what they might get

Derrick Brown
Derrick Brown / Jared C. Tilton/GettyImages
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Derrick Brown - Carolina Panthers DL

Derrick Brown is the Carolina Panthers' best player. That's not up for debate after a phenomenal 2023 season that saw him continue his ascent to one of the league's most dominant defensive linemen.

Brown was nothing short of sensational in 2023. He coped superbly with double and triple-teams en route to breaking the NFL's single-season tackle record for interior defensive linemen. Although he was unfortunate not to get his first Pro Bowl nod outright, he did participate after being elevated as a first alternate.

The former first-round pick is a core foundational piece for the Panthers. If those in power had any sense, they would look to tie him down long-term this offseason. The price is only going up, getting a deal done now could save them a bit of cash. Waiting is going to cost more.

Spotrac projects Brown to command an annual salary of $11.79 million on a three-year, $35.28 million deal. This seems incredibly low considering the Auburn product's upward trajectory. He's a premier talent and needs to be paid as such.

If Brown has another outstanding season in 2024 and the Panthers don't get an extension done, the player could get anywhere from $20-30 million per season. It might sound steep, but it's feasible when considering his importance to the team and the NFL's inflation rate where contracts are concerned.