The Panthers plan to pick up Thompson's fifth-year option for 2019, The Charlotte Observer reports.

The move isn't overly surprising with Thompson taking a step forward in 2017 and veteran linebacker Thomas Davis set to retire following the 2018 season. Davis -- who turned 35 last week -- is expected to take a further reduced role next season as well, which should create additional opportunities for Thompson. The 23-year-old should have a chance for a breakout season, and the Panthers picking up the fifth-year option removes the potential pressure of entering a contract year.

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