The Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson is slated to make $13 million this year as he is in year three of a 6-year, $76 million contract with $30 million of it guaranteed. Since signing the deal in 2011, Johnson has had 21.5 sacks, and seven forced fumbles. The 6′ 2″ 270 lb. Johnson needs to keep up double digit sacks for the life of this current contract otherwise it’ll be seen as wasted money.
While they have players like Dwan Edwards in the middle, the Panthers will need to fill the other defensive tackle spot with solid talent either in the draft or free agency. If they can do so, it will help Johnson exponentially as with studs at other line positions which will allow him to only get through single blockers which could be a bad thing for for the offensive linemen of his NFC South opponents. A great pick for them would be nose tackle Jesse Williams, (though they could trade back into round one) however taking a nose tackle at 14 is way too high, I guess last year the Kansas City Chiefs missed that memo.
If the Panthers bolster their interior defensive line this year, Johnson could go from 12.5 sacks in 2012 to at least 15 in 2013 and making the Pro Bowl and likely triggering an incentive or two.That being said about the defensive line, the Panthers have an amazing group of linebackers led by what will be a second year and current defensive rookie of the year in middle linebacker, Luke Kuechly.