Panther Free Agency Update

Though the Panthers have already signed DeShaun Foster to a three-year contract extension, the team is likely to add some depth at running back at some point this off-season given Foster's history of injury problems. One of the backs they might have considered was free agent Michael Bennett from the Minnesota Vikings, but Bennett signed with New Orleans recently.


1. Outside linebacker: The Panthers have lost both starting outside linebackers from last year with Will Witherspoon leaving for St. Louis and Brandon Short having been cut. Thomas Davis, a rookie last year, is poised to step in and start at one of those positions, but the other remains up for grabs. Chris Draft played well last year and the team likes Adam Seward. But look for the Panthers to add more veteran depth when the market settles down.

2 Running back: The Panthers would like to add some depth at running back given DeShaun Foster's injury problems. A veteran free agent might fit here, or they might look to the draft to fill this spot.

3. Offensive tackle: Todd Fordham, the team's top backup offensive tackle, is a free agent, so the Panthers may look for a veteran tackle to backup starters Jordan Gross and Travelle Wharton.

4. Tight end: Look for the Panthers to address this need in the NFL draft, perhaps in the first round with the 27th pick. Kris Mangum is aging and former third-round draft pick Mike Seidman has been a disappointment.

5. Wide receiver: The Panthers don't consider this a big need, but they could take a possession receiver if one comes along.



UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: P Jason Baker; S Idrees Bashir; OT Todd Fordham; C Jeff Mitchell; WR Ricky Proehl; DE Kemp Rasmussen; OG Tutan Reyes.

UNRESTRICTED FREE AGENTS (not tendered offers): S Scott Farley.

RESTRICTED FREE AGENTS: S Colin Branch; LB Vinny Ciurciu; CB Ricky Manning; DT Kindal Moorehead; TE Mike Seidman.

EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS FREE AGENTS: DT Jordan Carstens; FB Casey Cramer; DT Atiyyah Ellison; WR Efrem Hill; LB Sean Tufts.

PLAYERS RE-SIGNED: RB DeShaun Foster; QB Chris Weinke.

PLAYERS ACQUIRED: C Justin Hartwig; DT Maake Kemoeatu; DT Damione Lewis; P Micah Knorr; S Kevin McCadam; S Shaun Williams.

PLAYERS LOST: DT Brentson Buckner; RB Stephen Davis; S Marlon McCree; LB Brandon Short; RB Rod Smart; LB Will Witherspoon.

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