CHARLOTTE — The Panthers are moving to a new defensive system this year, but they’re bringing an important piece of last year’s back with them.
The Panthers agreed to terms on a reworked contract with veteran linebacker Shaq Thompson Saturday.
That move will keep him here for the transition to the 3-4 that new coordinator Ejiro Evero is bringing, and Evero specifically mentioned Thompson as a player he’d want to coach during his introductory press conference in February.
“Those are all questions that are above my pay grade, but if you talk about the player, that’s definitely a player I really admire, and I think he’s a heck of a player,” Evero said when asked about Thompson’s future and fit in this scheme. “Definitely would love to coach him.
“(He fits) very well. He’s an inside backer, a three-down player. He’s a guy that can play the run game. He’s good in zone coverage, can see the quarterback, can match running backs; he fits just right.”
The 28-year-old Thompson was their first-round pick in 2015, joining a linebacker group with Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis, and has remained productive throughout his career.
He’s fourth on the team’s all-time tackle list (according to press box stats), trailing only Kuechly, Davis, and Mike Minter.
He’s topped 100 tackles each of the last four seasons, joining Kuechly, Davis, Minter, and Jon Beason on the list of players to accomplish that feat.
Last year, he set career highs in total tackles (135), becoming one of just eight players in the league to go over 100 tackles each of the last four seasons.