Derrick Brown on four-year, $96M extension with Panthers: ‘It’s an awesome feeling’

The Carolina Panthers began their offseason program on Monday, and Derrick Brown is excited to be with the team for a long time. The Pro Bowl defensive tackle signed a four-year, $96 million contract extension last week and is ready to help the Panthers be a contender.

“You know, it’s an awesome feeling, I feel like the organization put the belief in me, and allow me just to be able to do what I do,” he said, per the Panthers’ official website. “Never put too much pressure on me, having high expectations for me always, but allowing me to just be who I am while doing what I do, right?

“I think it’s no pressure but high expectations. So it’s more what our coaches expect from us, and you have to use that voice to be the highest voice. And that allows me to be able to go out and not listen to too many people or let anybody else’s pain affect me and just be able to walk in a room and sit down and talk and then I know exactly what our game plan for the week is. Hearing you talk about it and being able to know just exactly what they expect for the week.”

Derrick Brown is a ‘heck of a player’

The Panthers selected Brown at No. 7 overall in the 2020 NFL draft after he had a standout career at Auburn. In his rookie season, Brown recorded 34 tackles, eight tackles for loss and two sacks. He had a breakout season in 2023, registering 103 tackles, seven tackles for loss, two sacks and six passes defended.

“He’s really, he’s a heck of a player,” Panthers defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero said. “What you see in him is just continued growth and maturation and learning the NFL game, understanding, not only using his physical ability, but also all the nuances of the game that come with experience, and all of that is just playing out. . . . Even before I took this job, I knew what a player he was and his reputation in the league is a guy that is hard to block. That’s been happening for a couple of years now.”

Now that Brown has his contract extension, the Panthers will work to get back in the playoff picture. The team has not been in the playoffs or had a winning season in 2017 and finished the 2023 season with a 2-15 record.

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