It appears that the Carolina Panthers have signed defensive end Wes Horton to a one-year deal, according to the player's Twitter account Friday. However, the move has yet to be officially announced by the organization.
The Panthers' signed Horton as an undrafted free agent prior to the 2012 season and the former USC Trojan spent the past three years with the Panthers. After eight tackles and two sacks his rookie season, Horton started 17 games in 2014, including two playoff games. He finished that year with 26 tackles, three sacks and one forced fumble.
This past season didn't go as smoothly for Horton, playing eight games and starting two of them but registering only one sack. However, his season was cut short when he was suspended four games after testing postive for performance enhancing drugs. The defensive end did not make it back onto the field for the rest of the season as the Panthers' released him following the suspension.
However, he was signed back to the practice squad after the regular season and remained on the team through the remainder of the playoffs.
This an interesting move for the Panthers but one that makes sense. Horton is a young pass rusher who understands this defense and provides depth at the position. There are some questions about what changes, if any, are made at defensive end this offseason and the addition of Horton provides the team with a little bit more flexibility.