Panthers sign Shaq Thompson to 4-year, $54.2M deal

These are some uncertain times in Carolina, but the Panthers have left no doubt that linebacker Shaq Thompson is a big part of the franchise's future.

The team announced on Saturday that Thompson signed a four-year contract extension. The deal is for four years, a $54.2 million extension with a max value of $57 million, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported per a source. Rapoport added the deal includes a $16 million signing bonus and $28 million guaranteed.

"Shaq is our type of person and our type of player," general manager Marty Hurney said in a statement to the team website. "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."

A 2015 first-round pick, Thompson was playing under a fifth-year option during a career season.

Thus far, he's tallied a career-high 93 tackles and the 25 year old has added three sacks and three passes defended for a young and promising Panthers defense.

Carolina is 5-7 and plays the host Falcons (3-9) on Sunday.

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