Update: According to the team’s official website, the Panthers have picked up Shaq Thompson’s fifth-year option.
The Panthers have officially exercised the fifth-year option on linebacker Shaq Thompson, keeping him under contract through the 2019 season.
As reported by Panthers.com, the Panthers have picked up the fifth-year option for every first round draft pick since it was created in 2011 — Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, Star Lotulelei, Kelvin Benjamin and Thompson.
According to a tweet from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Carolina Panthers will pick up the fifth-year option on linebacker Shaq Thompson.
The #Panthers are picking up the 5th year option for LB Shaq Thompson, source said, so he’s under contract through 2019. No brainer. His importance only increases for 2018 with the Thomas Davis suspension.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) April 23, 2018
Thompson has been a solid addition to the Panthers’ linebacker corps since being drafted No. 25 overall in the 2015 NFL Draft. He has played in 42 games for Carolina in his career, and will be given a lot more responsibility in 2018 when he replaces Thomas Davis in the starting lineup while Davis serves his four game suspension.
The fifth-year option for first-round picks was included in the latest collective bargaining agreement and allows teams to keep players at a reasonable price for a fifth season.
For players drafted No. 11 through No. 32 in the first round, their fifth-year option is the average value of the third through 25th highest-paid players at their position.
Last year the fifth-year value for linebackers in the 11-32 draft slots was $8.7 million. Teams have until May 3 to inform players they’re picking up the option.
Stay tuned to CSR for more information when the Panthers officially pick up Thompson’s fifth-year option.