Panthers pass-rusher Mario Addison is having one of his best seasons at age 32. 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers outside linebacker Shaquil Barrett

Carolina Panthers outside linebacker Mario Addison has 6.5 sacks, 4.5 off the career-best 11 he posted in 2017 and well ahead of the pace he set in any season since entering the league in 2011 out of Troy.

Barrett, who had three sacks in a victory over the Panthers in Week 2, signed a one-year, $4 million deal with the Bucs in March. Addison is at the end of a three-year deal in which he averages $7.5 million a year.

To put how much of a bargain they are into perspective, Chicago Bears outside linebacker Khalil Mack averages $23.5 million per year and Denver outside linebacker Von Miller $19,083,333, according to Over the Cap.

Mack, the No. 5 pick of the 2014 draft, has 4.5 sacks. Miller, the No. 2 pick in 2011, has two.

It might seem unusual that Barrett and Addison slipped through the cracks in the draft process based on their current productivity, but not to Carolina coach .

Addison is evidence of that. Early in his career, he was considered too small at 6-foot-3 and 254-pounds to be an every-down defensive end going up against monster-sized tackles and guards.

The 56-yard fumble return for a touchdown by first-round pick Brian BurnsAndrew Norwell, a former Carolina teammate, with rookie Christian Miller on his outside.

Addison drove Miller straight into quarterback Gardner Minshew to force the fumble.

What stands out most is where Addison lined up.

Will it lead to Addison getting a career high in sacks? He believes it can. Will it lead to another contract at an age (32), when most big deals already have been gotten?


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