Shaq Thompson restructures contract to remain with Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Linebacker Shaq Thompson is staying with the Carolina Panthers after agreeing to restructure his contract, the team announced Saturday night.

Thompson had a salary cap figure of more than $24 million before agreeing to a new deal, which had left his future with the team in doubt. The Panthers did not disclose how much salary cap room the restructured contract will clear for the upcoming season.

Thompson, Carolina’s first-round draft pick in 2015, had a career-high 135 tackles last season. He became one of four players in Panthers history to record at least 100 tackles in four straight seasons.

Ejiro Evero mentioned Thompson as one of the players he was eager to work with after being hired earlier this year as the team’s defensive coordinator.

“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 last month. “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.”

Thompson is fourth on the team’s career tackles list, trailing only Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis and Mike Minter.

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