Panthers exercise Shaq Thompson's fifth-year option

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CHARLOTTE – The Panthers have officially exercised the fifth-year option on linebacker Shaq Thompson, keeping him under contract through the 2019 season.

Thompson was Carolina's first-round draft choice (25th overall) in 2015. He has played in 42 games with 36 starts, compiling 167 tackles, three sacks, eight passes defensed, one interception and one fumble recovery for a touchdown.

The Panthers have exercised the fifth-year option every year since it was instituted in 2011 on rookie contracts for first-rounders (Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly, Star Lotulelei, Kelvin Benjamin and now Thompson).

View photos of linebacker Shaq Thompson through the years.

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