Panthers, Derrick Brown Agree To Extension

Ascending defensive tackles around the league continue to receive monster second contracts. The Panthers have worked out a four-year, $96MM extension with Derrick Brown, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports. The team has announced the move.

Schefter adds this deal includes just over $63MM in guaranteed money, which is in line with many other DT mega-deals worked out over the past two offseasons. Brown was set to play out the final season of his rookie contract in 2024 via the fifth-year option (valued at $11.66MM). He will secure a major raise up front while being on the books through 2028 as a result of this pact.

The contract includes $41.2MM fully guaranteed,’s Albert Breer tweets. While the total guarantee number ranks sixth among D-tackles, the full guarantee sits ninth. However, Breer adds $49MM comes Brown’s way over the extension’s first two years, with more than $13MM of his 2026 salary shifting to a full guarantee by 2025.

Talks on a Brown extension have been underway for some time now, so it comes as little surprise an agreement has been reached. Carolina had the option of waiting several months to hammer out a deal with the former No. 7 pick under contract for 2024, but the DT market has continued to surge. Especially with edge rusher Brian Burns no longer in place, the team had the funds available to make a steep investment such as this one.

Brown will now match Quinnen Williams in terms of AAV ($24MM) on this pact. That figure ranks fourth in the league amongst active players, and each of the three ahead of them on the list – Chris Jones, Christian Wilkins, Justin Madubuike – inked new deals this offseason. Brown will remain a central figure in the Panthers’ defense for years to come while joining the league’s highest-paid producers at the position.

The soon-to-be 26-year-old earned his first career Pro Bowl nod in 2024. Brown broke the NFL’s all-time record for tackles by a defensive lineman (103), bringing his career total in that respect to 245. He has added eight sacks in that span while serving as a full-time starter and remaining durable (one missed game, in 2021). Carolina made it clear Brown was untouchable during negotiations with the Bears over the blockbuster trade involving last year’s No. 1 pick. The Panthers ultimately agreed to move on from wideout D.J. Moore to help finalize that deal.

Since then, general manager Scott Fitterer has been fired. His internal replacement, Dan Morgan, has nevertheless carried on with making Brown a top priority. Keeping the Auburn product in the fold beyond his rookie pact would have become a challenge if the team had met Burns’ asking price, something which appeared to be increasingly unlikely to happen through the 2023 season. After turning down major trade interest in recent years, Carolina shipped Burns to the Giants and cleared the way for Brown to become the financial core of the Panthers’ defense.

Without the likes of Burns, Frankie Luvu or Jeremy Chinn in place anymore, questions have been raised about Carolina’s prospects on that side of the ball in 2024 and beyond. Brown will nonetheless be counted on to continue his production from the past two seasons in particular as a foundational member of the team’s core. His ability to do so will play a vital role in Carolina’s development over the coming years.

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