Panthers Pick Up 5th-Year Option On Star DT; Decline It On Starting CB

Derrick Brown

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The Carolina Panthers have exercised the fifth-year option on defensive lineman Derrick Brown, one of their top-performing players, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.

Brown was drafted in 2020 as the seventh overall pick by the Panthers and has since started in 46 games, amassing an impressive total of 142 tackles, 21 tackles for a loss, and six sacks.

With this decision, Brown’s guaranteed base salary will be $11.66 million in 2024, and he will be set to hit free agency at the beginning of 2025. The move demonstrates the organization’s confidence in Brown’s abilities and his potential to continue to make significant contributions to the team’s success in the coming years.

Option Declined

The Carolina Panthers have decided not to exercise the fifth-year option on cornerback C.J. Henderson.

Henderson was acquired from the Jacksonville Jaguars last September for a third-round pick and tight end Dan Arnold. He was drafted ninth overall in 2020 but has struggled to keep up with NFL receivers since joining the league.

Henderson played in all 17 games last season, starting ten of them, where he allowed a career-high 642 yards and five touchdowns while earning a Pro Football Focus coverage grade of 48.9. The decision not to exercise the option on Henderson’s contract is not a surprise, given his performance since joining the team. Instead, Henderson will enter the 2023 season with the Panthers on a prove-it year.

Overall, these moves demonstrate the Carolina Panthers’ focus on building a competitive team with talented players who can contribute to the team’s success in the coming seasons. With the team’s young and promising talent, such as 1st overall pick Bryce Young, the Panthers are poised to make a strong impact in the league in the years to come.