The Carolina Panthers may have just one more year left to benefit from “the steal of the century.”
This past week, Around the NFL writer Kevin Patra forecasted 32 potential first-time Pro Bowlers—one for each team. For Carolina, he chooses linebacker Frankie Luvu—who’s coming off a quietly dynamic career campaign.
The pesky linebacker is always in the middle of the action. Luvu’s star shot upwards in 2022, as he stuffed the stat sheet with 111 tackles, 19 tackles for loss, seven sacks and four passes defended. Boasting the ability to shed blockers and make plays in the backfield, Luvu profiles as a demon in Ejiro Evero’s defense. Luvu is heading into the final year of his contract. A big season, culminating with a Pro Bowl nod, could set him up for a payday next offseason.
Luvu is currently in the final season of a two-year, $9 million extension he signed in February of 2022. If the second year of that deal is anything like his first, he will be—as head coach Frank Reich referred to him as—the steal of the century.
“He’s a unique guy. Frankie’s so unique,” Reich said back on Aug. 1. “That guy—he has so much energy, such a good player, so versatile. I was talkin’ to Scott [Fitterer] the other day and I said, ‘How did we end up with this guy?’ Man, this was like the steal of the century gettin’ Frankie on this team.
“Love his leadership, love his plays, consistency, his aggressiveness. Yeah, we’re in a good place with Frankie.”
Frankie is seemingly in a good place with the Panthers, too. Now that he’ll have the freedom to roam around in Evero’s new defense, even as a pass rusher, Luvu may very well have that ticket to Orlando awaiting him.