Shaq Thompson, Panthers Agree to 4-Year, $54M Contract Extension

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistDecember 7, 2019

Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Shaq Thompson (54) during an NFL football game against the Arizona Cardinals, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2019, in Glendale, Ariz. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

The Carolina Panthers and linebacker Shaq Thompson reached an agreement Saturday on a four-year, $54.2 million contract extension with $28 million in guaranteed money.

Doug Hendrickson, Thompson's agent, provided the financial details to ESPN's Adam Schefter after the team announced the new deal.

"Shaq is our type of person and our type of player," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said. "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."

Thompson, who could've become an unrestricted free agent following the 2019 NFL season, is now under contract through the 2023 campaign.

Carolina selected the 25-year-old University of Washington product with the 25th overall pick in the 2015 draft. He's since developed into a stabilizing force in the middle of the Panthers defense.

He's recorded 339 total tackles, 12 passes defended, 9.5 sacks, three forced fumbles and an interception across 68 appearances over five seasons. His 93 tackles this season rank 18th in the NFL.

In July, Thompson confirmed he wanted to remain in Carolina for the long haul.

"Yeah, this is a place I've been for five years," he told reporters. "I don't want to know any other place."

His $28 million guaranteed ranks seventh among inside linebackers, per Spotrac.

The Panthers are entering a period of transition after they fired longtime head coach Ron Rivera on Tuesday. A roster shake-up could follow in the offseason with the team in the midst of a disappointing 5-7 campaign.

Thompson's extension shows the front office believes he's a key building block for the future.