NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo says Carolina saved $5.638 million in 2021 by restructuring McCaffrey’s deal. ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports Thompson’s restructure saved Carolina an additional $6.126 million for a total savings of $11.726 million.
McCaffrey, 24, is a former first-round pick of the Panthers back in 2017. He was entering the final year of his four-year, $17.224 million contract when the Panthers signed him to a new four-year, $64 million contract extension that also included his expected fifth-year option.
In 2020, McCaffrey has appeared in three games for the Panthers and rushed 59 times for 225 yards (3.8 YPC) and five touchdowns, adding 17 receptions for 149 yards and a touchdown.
Thompson, 26, is a former first-round pick of the Panthers back in 2015. He completed his four-year, $8.808 million rookie contract that included $7.172 million guaranteed and made a base salary of $9.232 million under the fifth-year option.
Thompson was in line to be an unrestricted free agent in 2020 when the Panthers signed him to a four-year, $54.2 million extension.
In 2020, Thompson appeared in all 16 games for the Panthers and recorded 114 total tackles, six tackles for loss, two forced fumbles, one recover and five pass defenses. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 57 overall linebacker out of 83 qualifying players.