Panthers tab team captains for 2021 season

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The Carolina Panthers officially named their team captains for the 2021 season on Thursday afternoon. And with a roster mainly compromised of new, young, budding talent comes a fresh batch of leaders.

Of the eight players who will don the patch, six will be first-time captains for the Panthers. Those men include quarterback Sam Darnold, center Matt Paradis, right tackle Taylor Moton, defensive end Brian Burns, cornerback Donte Jackson and long snapper J.J. Jansen.

Jansen’s inclusion is, perhaps, the most feel-good one of the bunch considering his standing within the organization. The 35-year-old, who is the oldest and longest-tenured player on the team, has finally earned the distinction upon entering his 13th year with the franchise.

For Darnold and Paradis, this won’t be their first rodeo with the patch in the NFL, as they’ve served as captains at their previous stops in New York and Denver. For Moton, Burns and Jackson, this signifies a vote of confidence as they’ll be looked upon as the long-term leaders moving forward.

Running back Christian McCaffrey and linebacker Shaq Thompson round out the eight. It’ll be their third and second seasons, respectively, as Carolina captains.