By BRIAN CUNNIFF
Cape May resident Colin Thompson will have a chance to play another season in the NFL in 2021.
Thompson, a consultant with the Lower Cape May Regional High School football team, has signed a contract extension with the Carolina Panthers after playing 15 games with the team during the 2020 season, the team announced this week.
Thompson, an undrafted 6-4, 255-pound tight end, made four starts for the Panthers, catching a touchdown pass during a Week 10 loss to Tampa Bay.
Thompson, 26, had accepted an assistant coaching position at Lower Cape May prior to the 2020 season but put those plans on hold after making the Carolina roster.
He remained a part of the Lower Cape May program throughout the season, often consulting via telephone with head coach Lance Bailey.
Thompson played college football at Temple for three seasons under Matt Rhule, who finished his rookie season as the Panthers’ head coach last weekend.
Thompson played parts of two seasons at Florida before transferring to Temple. He was an American Athletic Conference honorable mention selection as a senior for the Owls in 2016.
Thompson signed with the New York Giants as an undrafted free agent in 2017 but was waived during preseason camp. He was signed to the practice squad of the Chicago Bears later that year and spent the 2018 preseason with the team before being released.
Thompson was initially cut by the Panthers one week before the start of the regular season in early September but was re-signed two days later.
Thompson is a graduate of Archbishop Wood High School in Bucks County, Pa., and was considered one of the top high school tight ends in the country as a senior.
Thompson has long been familiar with the Jersey Shore area, as his family regularly spends much of the summer in Cape May.