CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Panthers have exercised the fifth-year option on outside linebacker Shaq Thompson's contract.
Thompson is now under contract through the 2019 season.
Thompson started 14 games and had a career-high 75 tackles with six quarterback pressures and two sacks last season. Thompson is viewed as the long-term replacement for 13-year NFL veteran Thomas Davis, who may retire after next season.
The 2015 first-round draft pick from Washington has 206 tackles, three sacks, one interception, eight passes defensed and two fumble recoveries in three NFL seasons.
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