Meadows back with Panthers?

In 2004, the Carolina Panthers invested $15 million in free agent Adam Meadows, hoping he could fulfill a need at right tackle. But just two weeks into training camp, Meadows' surgically repaired right shoulder began to cause him problems and he abruptly retired. On Thursday, Meadows applied to the league office for reinstatement after two years away from the game.

The Panthers still own Meadows' rights, even though he re-paid the Panthers all of his $2.5 million signing bonus shortly after announcing his retirement.

The Panthers are currently deciding whether or not to take a chance on Meadows and are at least likely to bring him in for a physical.

However, a lot has changed since 2004 and it might be tough for Meadows to win a starting job.

Jordan Gross and Travelle Wharton are entrenched as the team's offensive tackles and the Panthers have veteran Todd Fordham as their primary backup. They also drafted offensive tackle Rashad Butler from the University of Miami in the third round this past April.

However, the Panthers could look at Meadows as a guard and he might have a better shot to win a job there. Pro Bowler Mike Wahle is the team's left guard, but rookie Evan Mathis is slated to start at right guard.

The team spent big money on free agent center Justin Hartwig.

The Panthers have a good working relationship with Meadows and they said they respected him for his honesty after his decision to retire.

The Panthers will likely have to make a decision by Friday, July 28, on whether or not to bring him back.

CAMP CALENDAR: Players report to training camp July 28 with two-a-days beginning the following day. The Panthers do not have any scrimmages planned this preseason, as is normally the case under John Fox. Fan Appreciation Day is Aug. 4 at Bank of America Stadium. Camp breaks Aug. 23.

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