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March 07, 2012

Panthers sign free agent kicker

The Panthers have signed place-kicker Justin Medlock to a three-year contract to compete with veteran Olindo Mare.

Medlock will earn the minimum $390,000 this year, with base salaries of $480,000 and $570,000 set for 2013 and 2014, respectively, according to the NFLPA Web site.

Medlock replaces Adi Kunalic, who was waived today.

The Panthers signed Mare to a four-year, $12 million contract last summer after the lockout ended and released John Kasay, a member of the Panthers' inaugural team who played with New Orleans after Carolina cut him.

The Panthers brought in Kunalic late last season after Mare missed two chip-shot, fourth-quarter field goals.

Medlock, 28, a fifth-round draft choice by Kansas City in 2007, made 1 of 2 field goals as a rookie before the Chiefs released him. He spent the last three years in the Canadian Football League.

Medlock, who played at UCLA, was a CFL All-Star last season after making 49 of 55 field goals with a long of 57 yards.

Medlock made seven field goals in one game last season. CFL kickers are allowed to use a kicking block, although Medlock kicked off the ground, according to his agent, Frank Murtha.

Murtha said Medlock heard from several NFL and CFL teams before signing with Carolina.

β€œHe's assuming that he's going to compete with Olindo all the way through training camp,” Murtha said. β€œHe was highly sought after as a CFL free agent. His own club wanted him back, and others. But he knows coming down to the Panthers that he's going to have to compete with Olindo.”

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on March 7, 2012 at 12:30 PM | Permalink


"although Medlock kicked off the ground, according to his agent"

yeah, i bet he did.......

should've kept kasay....now he is down there with the bounty hunters

Posted by: slim shady | Mar 7, 2012 1:17:44 PM

Yea, what was Marty thinking..........

Posted by: nasty704 | Mar 7, 2012 1:23:01 PM

Cut Mare now! I don't care who the alternative is. If you want to show a commitment for Excellence you have to cut Mare right now!

Posted by: Hai | Mar 7, 2012 1:29:42 PM

Can we contribute to Marty's bounty?

Posted by: MELISSA | Mar 7, 2012 1:32:20 PM

Kasay is a free agent but I'm sure his veteran minimum salary is much higher than Medlock.

Posted by: Bwieze | Mar 7, 2012 1:34:18 PM

"Medlock will earn the minimum $390,000 this year, with base salaries of $480,000 and $570,000 set for 2013 and 2014, respectively."

Knowing Kasay as we all do, if Hurney had gone to Kasay the day after the lockout ended and offered these same terms to Kasay, so they would have the money to re-sign all our free agents, I'm laying 100-1 odds that Kasay would have taken him up on it.

Then, with Kasay's salary cut by two-thirds, Hurney could have gone out and found a punter who could kick off from the 35 and actually punt more than 30 yards - neither of which Jason Baker is capable of doing anymore.

Posted by: J | Mar 7, 2012 1:44:50 PM

I agree, Kasay would've stayed....

and we do need to put a bounty on Hurney!!!!

cut mare, armanti...now

Posted by: slim shady | Mar 7, 2012 1:49:37 PM

Is George Blanda available ?

Posted by: Sheldon | Mar 7, 2012 1:52:50 PM

Remember 2 years ago when Kasey missed a game winning field goal from 42 yards out in Cleveland? Yeah...

I agree that Mare needs some competition because those two misses were horrible. But everyone romanticizing Kaseys end here needs to stop.

Posted by: Keeping it 100 | Mar 7, 2012 1:59:22 PM

we need Kasay here and the bobcats name changed to hornets.


Posted by: slim shady | Mar 7, 2012 2:45:38 PM

100-1 odds, eh? I'm in. Look, Kasey may (or may not) be a great guy. I don't know the dude. But professional athletes want to get paid a fair amount, just like you want to be fairly compensated for your contributions at your place of employment. It's their Jay oh Bee, plain and simple, that's just the way it is. The better you are and the longer you've been working for your employer, the more you expect to get paid. I would never suggest someone that works at Walmart, for example, take a pay cut "for the good of the company." Nor should athletes. Therefore if a company determines that the cost of your services outweigh the value, they gotta let you go. Simple economics. The Panthers cut Kasey because (they felt) they had to also hire another person to handle kickoffs, as well, tying up more money in kicking duties than they felt they could afford, causing them to neglect other areas of the team. So they made an economic decision. It wasn't popular, and it didn't work out well (clearly) but, as Fox would say, "it is what it is" we pick up and move on. The Panthers could have chosen to disrespect Kasey with some low-ball number, and I guarantee he would have refused. But they chose to say, "Thank you, we're sure you can make your money on the open market, but we can no longer afford to keep you" and let him free. This new guy, however, is trying to break into the NFL. He has to earn a payday first, so he's cost-effective. They can pay him next to nothing, and he'll gladly take it, but they view him as an upgrade over Kunalic, obviously. Mare is probably gone. The team needs to shed some dead weight and free up some money, and Mare is a prime candidate to get cut if they can find someone to take his place.

Posted by: OBXsurfer4 | Mar 7, 2012 2:48:48 PM

morten andersen played till he was 47. john kasay is 42.

give kasay the minimum and get a stud punter who can handle kickoffs and long field goals.

done and done. not unrealistic.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 7, 2012 3:31:41 PM

Kasay now > Mare ever

Posted by: Al | Mar 7, 2012 3:49:09 PM

look stupids, where going to end up signing this kid and cutting mare, saving money and getting a better kicker which everybody wants... it's all good, why the hell do ya'll people complain so much????

Posted by: Your Daddy | Mar 7, 2012 4:48:42 PM

In this era of Kick-offs you better get someobdy that gets it deep in the end zone.. why because kick off coverage is non exsisting now and teams dont have to get stud guys to run down field as a guy takes a knee? You can use extra money for starters now because with 0 run backs on Kick-offs and angle out of bound punts anybody can put on a uniform and mock trot downfield..

Posted by: Robert | Mar 7, 2012 5:43:07 PM

How can Mare compete for the job in training camp when he will be released to get under the salary cap!

Posted by: joe cool | Mar 7, 2012 6:34:27 PM


If you don't know Kasay... then you don't know the Panthers.

Never should've let him go and should try to get him back if available.

Posted by: John | Mar 7, 2012 7:00:12 PM

Agreed. Bring Kasay back. He at least deserves the opportunity to compete, if not let him retire a Panther. Hurney needs to be the one that's released!

Posted by: TheChadd1982 | Mar 7, 2012 11:11:38 PM

John, I meant I didn't know him personally, not as a player. I don't get the two confused. I'm not hating on Kasey at all, I'm simply saying there was a reason he was released in the first place, and that still holds true today, despite how popular he was. Look at Peyton. You don't think people in Indy LOVE Peyton? The Colts still released him though, and they had their reasons too. NFL is a business and that's all I'm saying. Let Kasey come back to retire a Panther, great, but I don't see him coming back to actually play. Could be wrong, but I can't see that scenario playing out.

Posted by: OBXsurfer4 | Mar 8, 2012 3:33:18 AM

Still the fact remains that a poor decision was made when Kasay was replaced with Mare. You measured numbers but you didn't measure heart Marty. What was done to Kasay was personal and it came from the top, didn't it Mr. Richards.

Posted by: deepenwide | Mar 8, 2012 4:30:55 AM

I watched every Ti-Cats game last year. Medlock was money in the bank and DID kick off of the ground. Granted, the pressures of the NFL are much greater, but this is a good signing for the Panthers which will allow them shed Mare's much needed salary. Worst case the Panthers have kicking as bad as last season, but for 3.5 million less.

Posted by: Lunker | Mar 8, 2012 10:49:20 AM

Morten Andersen?

Posted by: sbh1024 | Mar 8, 2012 3:51:32 PM

Mare is gone.....Kasay will sign with the Panthers......someday and immediately retire.....they'll put a statue of him out front. This new kicker will be very good. Marty Hurney is doing just fine. He brought us Cam, Coach Rivera and all our core players. We are on our way to sustained success.

Posted by: rockgod | Mar 8, 2012 7:54:47 PM

I was hoping the Panthers would have started to cut a few players by now, but it appears they will wait until the last minute as usual. It will be a boring free agency for us, 9 million to cut just to get down to the cap. That kicker may be the biggest signing all summer, lol.

Posted by: Kenny | Mar 9, 2012 12:16:46 AM

MARE IS GONE!!!!!!!!!! Thats what Cam Newton is saying after that week 6 kick and sure enough!!!

Posted by: jordan | Mar 9, 2012 12:51:28 AM

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