4 Carolina Panthers the Detroit Lions should have interest in trading for
2. LB Shaq Thompson
Coming off three straight 100-plus tackle seasons, Thompson has 34 total tackles through five games this season to put himself well on pace to make it four straight. His impact on the other side of the line of scrimmage has lacked thus far (zero tackles for loss), but history says that will correct (26 tackles for loss over the last three full seasons).
However, Thompson is into his fifth straight season allowed less than a 100.0 passer rating in his coverage (according to Pro Football Reference). The Lions linebackers consistently struggle in coverage, though Alex Anzalone has had a couple solid games on that front this season.
Beyond talent Thompson would also up the experience quotient in any linebacking corps, Detroit’s easily included of course. He is under contract through 2023, but with the kind of cap hit ($24.46 million) that makes him a prime cut candidate for the Panthers next spring. At 28 years old, a contract extension to reduce that 2023 cap hit feels unlikely in Carolina.
According to Jason La Canfora, the Panthers will have to/are willing to eat salary to facilitate trades. Thompson is on the list of players they’d have to do that with to move him, but there should be some teams interested.
How that money movement looks will go a long way to determining who might make a deal for Thompson. But the Lions should have some inital interest here.