The Panthers announced today that they’ve signed linebacker Shaq Thompson to a four-year extension. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports (via Twitter) that the deal is worth $54.2MM, with a maximum value of $57MM. There’s $28MM guaranteed and a $16MM signing bonus. The extension will keep Thompson in a Panthers uniform through the 2023 season.
“Shaq is our type of person and our type of player,” said general manager Marty Hurney. “He’s proven that he can play linebacker at a very high level, and he’s got all the traits you want. He’s smart, he’s physical, he can run and he’s very versatile. He fits the blueprint for what we want at the position.”
A 2015 first-round pick out of Washington, Thompson has spent his entire five-year career with the Panthers. The organization picked up his fifth-year option back in 2018, and the linebacker has rewarded them with perhaps his best season in the NFL. In 12 games this year, the 25-year-old has compiled 93 tackles, three sacks, and three passes defended. Thompson has also garnered glowing reviews from the coaching staff, with the organization appreciating his ability to fill in for longtime Panther Thomas Davis.
The $57MM maximum value would place Thompson in the top-five among linebackers, tied with Myles Jack and Deion Jones. Meanwhile, the $28MM in guaranteed money is the third-highest mark at the position behind C.J. Mosley and Devin White.