The Panthers are bringing back one of their pending free agents. Linebacker Frankie Luvu has agreed to a two-year deal with Carolina, per ESPN’s David Newton (Twitter link). Aaron Wilson of Pro Football Network adds that the contract is worth $9MM.
Luvu, 25, signed with the Panthers last offseason. That came after three years to start his career with the Jets, where he flashed potential as at least an effective rotational player. While he had the second-lowest sack total of his career in 2021 with 1.5, he set a new mark with 43 total tackles (including eight for a loss) in 16 games. He also collected one pass breakup, one forced fumble and three fumble recoveries.
While Luvu, who went undrafted in 2018, saw almost exactly as many snaps on defense as he did in his final campaign with the Jets, he continued an upward trend of playing time on special teams, reaching a new career high of 71% of snaps. PFF’s Doug Kyed tweets that he “was expected to draw significant interest as a free agent”.
Luvu will now remain on a Panthers defense that ranked second in the league in yards allowed in 2021. With a front seven including the likes of Derrick Brown, Brian Burns and fellow linebacker Shaq Thompson, he seems to have carved out a useful role on the team which has earned him some short-term stability.