The Panthers are opening up the pocket books, as the team has announced they have inked linebacker Shaq Thompson to a four-year, $54.2 million extension that includes $28 million guaranteed.
Agent Doug Hendrickson told ESPN’s Adam Schefter that the deal has a max value of $57 million and contains a $16 million signing bonus.
The 25-year-old this season in 12 games has three sacks. He has 9.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and an interception in his career.
He was the Panthers first-round pick in 2015.
“Shaq is our type of person and our type of player,” 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.”
This season, Thompson has recorded a career-high 93 tackles (101 according to coaches’ stats) and three sacks along with three passes defensed.
In five NFL seasons, Thompson has career totals of 394 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 13 passes defensed, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries, including one returned for a touchdown.