NFL Trade Rumors: Carolina Panthers Signing Defensive Tackle Derrick Brown to Massive Extension

The Carolina Panthers have secured a franchise cornerstone on their defensive line. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Panthers are signing Pro Bowl defensive tackle Derrick Brown to a gargantuan four-year, $96 million extension.

Brown was the Panthers' seventh overall pick in the 2020 NFL Draft and has gradually evolved into one of the NFL's most dominant run-cloggers and space-stuffers. Last season, he set a record for tackles by a defensive lineman with 103 and earned an excellent 90.1 overall grade from Pro Football Focus for his efforts.

Brown was set to play the 2024 season on his fifth-year option, the final year of his rookie deal, but this new contract will tie him to the Panthers all the way through the 2028 season. The $24 million annual average ties New York Jets star Quinnen Williams for the fifth highest of any defensive tackle.

Brown's massive deal is particularly notable given his production (or lack thereof) as a pass rusher. Brown has a mere 8.0 sacks over his 66 career appearances. The five other interior defensive linemen earning $24 million per year or more (Chris Jones, Aaron Donald, Christian Wilkins, Justin Madubuike, and Quinnen Williams) have each exceeded that total in single seasons at various points in their career.

Still, Brown is unquestionably elite in his role as a run stuffer, and he has demonstrated genuinely staggering durability. Not only has he appeared in 66 of a possible 67 games since being drafted, but he also was on the field for 89% of the Panthers' defensive snaps last season, a massive number for any defensive lineman. He's a trustworthy player worth investing in, particularly for a team like the Panthers that needs every good player it can get.
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