DJ Moore's $11.1M 5th-Year Contract Option Exercised by Panthers

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 29, 2021

Carolina Panthers wide receiver D.J. Moore warms up prior to an NFL football game between the Carolina Panthers and the Washington Football Team, Sunday, Dec. 27, 2020, in Landover, Md. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally)
Mark Tenally/Associated Press

The Carolina Panthers exercised the fifth-year option in the rookie contract of wide receiver DJ Moore for the 2022 season. 

Drew Rosenhaus, Moore's agent, told ESPN's Adam Schefter he was informed of the team's decision Thursday. The wideout will receive an $11.1 million salary next year, per Spotrac.

Carolina selected Moore out of the University of Maryland with the 24th overall pick in the 2018 NFL draft, and he's proceeded to average over 1,000 receiving yards over his first three seasons.

The 24-year-old Philadelphia native has recorded 208 catches for 3,156 yards with 10 touchdowns through 46 games with the Panthers. While they'd probably like if he found the end zone a little more often, he's been a highly durable, reliable option despite the team's continued search for a franchise quarterback.

Moore's 18.1 yards per reception in 2020 ranked third in the NFL behind only the Green Bay Packers' Marquez Valdes-Scantling (20.9) and Las Vegas Raiders' Nelson Agholor (18.7).

His number of catches dropped from 87 in 2019 to 66 last year, though. Head coach Matt Rhule addressed the more limited touches for one of their top playmakers in November.

"I'd like to see him catch more balls," Rhule said. "We have so many weapons that I don't think we go into any one week and say, 'Hey, let's get this guy the ball, let's get that guy the ball.' I just think sometimes things swing that way and sometimes the defense is working to take somebody away, but DJ is working hard and he's working hard to get open, so I'd love to see him catch more balls."

The departure of Curtis Samuel, who signed with the Washington Football Team as a free agent, should create more opportunities for both Moore and Robby Anderson in 2021.

Anderson is scheduled to become a free agent after the season barring a contract extension, which could elevate Moore to being the unquestioned No. 1 receiver for the final year of his rookie deal in 2022.