Linebacker Shaq Thompson signs 4-year extension with Panthers

Carolina Panthers

Shaq Thompson (Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Linebacker Shaq Thompson signed a 4-year extension, according to an announcement the Carolina Panthers made Saturday, WSOC reports.

Thompson is now under contract until 2023.

He is in his fifth season with the NFL.

“Shaq is our type of person and our type of player,” general manager Marty Hurney said. “He’s proven that he can play linebacker at a very high level, and he’s got all the traits you want. He’s smart, he’s physical, he can run, and he’s very versatile. He fits the blueprint for what we want at the position.”

After his junior season at the University of Washington, Thompson joined the NFL.

He has a career total of 394 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 13 passes defended, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries, including one returned for a touchdown.

The extension comes days after the Panthers decided to part ways with head coach Ron Rivera Tuesday.

Secondary coach Perry Fewell has been named interim head coach, the team said.

“I believe this is the best decision for the long-term success of our team,” owner David Tepper said. “I have a great deal of respect for Ron and the contributions he has made to this franchise and to this community. I wish him the best. I will immediately begin the search for the next head coach of the Carolina Panthers.”

Rivera was named the head coach of the Panthers in 2011. He had a 76-63-1 regular season record and a 3-4 postseason record. He guided the Panthers to Super Bowl 50, where they lost to the Denver Broncos.

The Panthers have struggled in recent seasons, going 7-9 and missing the playoffs in 2018. To this point in 2019, the team is 5-7 and has lost four straight.

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