Panthers Sign WRs

The Panthers made a couple of roster moves that got little press last week, but at least one of them could be important to continuity and execution in 2005.

CHARLOTTE, NC -- The Panthers made a lower profile but equally important signing last week in the re-signing of Special Teams Captain Karl Hankton. Hankton, who will be 35 in July, has been with the Panthers since 2000, and has been the Special Teams Captain since 2002.

Although Hankton is 35, he's a veteran of only 6 NFL seasons. In his relatively short time with Carolina, he's set the benchmark for Special Teams play, holding the Panthers' all time Special Teams Tackles record with 66.

The Re-signing of Hankton is important to a Special Teams unit that is in flux. Scotty O'Brien retired (then signed with the Dolphins a few days later) and former Special Teams Assistant Danny Crossman has been promoted to Special Teams Coach. Along with returning gunner and returner Rod Smart, Hankton will be a steady influence to what figures to be a young crop of Special Teams players.

Hankton graduated from Trinity College in Illinois with a degree in business management and serves as his own agent.

In other WR News

The Panthers have signed Javin Hunter, a 5-11, 190 lb receiver out of Notre Dame and Aaron Boone, a 6-2, 205 lb receiver out of Kentucky. Both will be allocated to NFL Europe.

Hunter was a 6th round pick of the Baltimore Ravens in 2002. He notched 12 games played with 3 starts in 2002, and caught 5 passes for 35 yards. He has spent the last 3 seasons with the Ravens. Hunter runs roughly a 4.47 40-yard-dash. His father, James Hunter, played CB for the Detroit Lions. Hunter was suspended for 4 games in 2002 for testing positive for Ephedrine, an herbal supplement that is not illegal, but banned by the NFL in July of 2002. Hunter is a fundamentally sound WR that could sneak on the team with a good preseason showing.

Boone was allocated to NFLE last season by the Chicago Bears and played for the Berlin Thunder. Boone played in 9 games, catching 13 passes for 221 yards and was among the league leaders with 4 touchdowns. Boone finished his career with Kentucky ranked third in receiving touchdowns with 16. Boone, who is Mormon, spent 2 years as a missionary in Peru. Originally signed by the Cowboys as an undrafted FA in 2003, was cut, then signed with the Bears.

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