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3 best potential destinations for Shaq Thompson in 2023 - Carolina Panthers LB

3 best potential destinations for Shaq Thompson in 2023 - Carolina Panthers LB

3 best potential destinations for Shaq Thompson in 2023 - Carolina Panthers LB

With his status with the Carolina Panthers uncertain in 2023, where might seasoned linebacker Shaq Thompson find himself? 

Shaq Thompson is at the center of one of the most crucial circumstances. The seasoned linebacker put in another strong performance on the way to 135 tackles in 2022, but some crucial financial variables make it seem less likely than ever that he will stay in Carolina. 

This spring, releasing or moving Thompson would result in a cap savings of more than $13 million. Though it would be missed both on and off the field, the idea cannot be completely ruled out when looking at the bigger picture.

There are many things that can and will happen in the upcoming weeks, but here are four venues where Thompson might perform in 2023.

#3. Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings are one squad that could use some help at linebacker. Reinforcing this vital area could be among the team's top priorities if Eric Kendricks and Jordan Hicks leave in the near future based on their salaries and lackluster performances in 2022.


Due to the deteriorating defense and Kirk Cousins' advancing age, the Vikings' window to genuinely compete is starting to close. When Thompson becomes available and they stay in win-now mode the following season, an attempt might not be far behind.


Due in large part to Cousins' enormous $36.25 million cap figure, money is tight in Minnesota right now. Given the $11.3 million he would receive from the Panthers for an early release, Thompson might be willing to take less in exchange for a position with a playoff contender.

#2. Buffalo Bills

The Bills will undoubtedly come up if Shaq Thompson is allowed to find a new home in free agency. The player has previously collaborated with Sean McDermott while he served as Carolina's defensive coordinator, so the integration into the scheme should go smoothly.


Additionally, Thompson would have a shot to win a coveted championship for the first time since his rookie season in 2015. If the Panthers don't retain Thompson around, the possibility of him ending up in Buffalo almost seems too likely. It would strengthen the Bills' roster even more by adding Tremaine Edmunds to the second level. The player's exceptional leadership abilities are certain to help the team go further in the future.


The idea of meeting with McDermott would no doubt excite Thompson. The big issue is whether or not he will have the chance to take on a brand-new challenge.

#1. Detroit Lions

The Detroit Lions were the hottest team in the final stretch. Although it didn't result in a surprise playoff berth, Dan Campbell's skillful management has given the team newfound optimism.


Another plus is that offensive coordinator Ben Johnson chose to stay in Detroit despite numerous interview demands. Nevertheless, the Lions must improve their defense if they want to make that next step.

The second level of Detroit's defense really needs a player like Shaq Thompson. A veteran with a wealth of experience who can direct the team and deliver the kind of consistency that was lacking for extended stretches in 2022.

5.0 / 6

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