November 20, 2012
Panthers waive K Justin Medlock, sign Graham Gano
Three consecutive missed field goals cost Justin Medlock his job.
The Panthers announced Tuesday evening they cut the first-year kicker and signed free-agent Graham Gano to a two-year deal, one day after head coach Ron Rivera said the team would evaluate the position.
Medlock began the season a perfect 7-for-7 before having a kick blocked against Washington and missing one in both the Denver and Tampa Bay games. Medlock missed a 40-yard field goal in the second quarter that would have put Carolina up 17-10 against Tampa Bay on Sunday. The game eventually went to overtime after a last-minute game-tying drive, and the Bucs won on their first possession.
Gano went undrafted out of Florida State in 2009, was signed by the Baltimore Ravens but was cut before the season began. After a stint in the UFL with the Las Vegas Locomotives in the UFL, Gano came back to the NFL later that year with the Washington Redskins.
If consistency was an issue for Medlock, it has been for Gano, as well. In two seasons with the Redskins in 2010 and 2011, Gano was 38-for-39 on PATs and 55-of-76 on field goals. He was cut in August in favor of veteran Neil Rackers.
Interim general manager Brandon Beane said the team worked out Gano and veteran Nate Kaeding on Tuesday. Kaeding, a former San Diego Charger, was eligible for free agency at the end of the season and just came off a groin injury.
Though he's 29 years old, Medlock is a virtual rookie in the NFL. He was drafted out of UCLA in 2007 by the Kansas City Chiefs. He went 1-for-2 in his NFL debut and was cut two days later. He bounced around teams in the Canadian Football League before landing the starting job with the Panthers, beating out incumbent veteran Olindo Mare in the presason.
“We had to look at the big picture, not just guys that have experience but some young guys that can be with us for a longer period of time and guys that can establish themselves and have nice, long careers in one spot,” Rivera said of Medlock and rookie punter Brad Nortman in August. “We are most certainly looking to the future with those guys.”
--Jonathan Jones and Joe Person
Posted by Observer Sports on November 20, 2012 at 05:59 PM | Permalink
The level of incompetence of this coaching staff is ASTOUNDING! The kicker wasn't the cause of the loss Sunday. The calling of the defense at the end was yet again.
Posted by: I'm Right | Nov 20, 2012 6:19:04 PM
john kasey is probably laughing at us right now
Posted by: David | Nov 20, 2012 6:24:16 PM
Not sure why Medlock had to pay the price, he will probably go elsewhere and be very good. Poor move on the Panthers part. How about letting Rivera go?
Posted by: ziggydoda | Nov 20, 2012 6:57:39 PM
Agree with cutting Medlock. If he makes that 40 yarder on Sunday, Panthers win.
Wish we could bring back Kasay and let Nortman do the kickoffs.
Posted by: MJ | Nov 20, 2012 6:57:56 PM
Cam Newton is a statue. Our O-Line is on roller skates. Our running backs can't break a 5-yard run. Louis Murphy is allergic to thrown footballs. Captain Munnerlyn can't return a punt out of his shadow. Our defense can't cover their tails with both hands.
Cut the kicker...that should help. IDIOTS.
Posted by: AppGrad04 | Nov 20, 2012 7:22:22 PM
Yet they STILL have Rivera and Cam.
Posted by: Luvnut | Nov 20, 2012 7:40:12 PM
Missing kicks in close games gets coaches fired as we will soon see. Rivera decided Medlock was going to pay now. I saw him look at former Special Teams Coach and roll his eyes when Medlock missed a winner in the preseason. I really believe he never wanted this guy on the team.
Posted by: Sports don | Nov 20, 2012 7:41:30 PM
They didn't even have confidence enough in Medlock to allow him to kick >40 yarders...they got to see him in practice...he had to go
Posted by: angus | Nov 20, 2012 7:43:48 PM
Rivera and staff have cost us two seasons....why are they still here.....
Posted by: Panther | Nov 20, 2012 8:26:36 PM
Sure, cut somebody to make the coaching staff feel better about themselves when they are the real problem. Looks like White House politics - look over here, over here is the problem.
Posted by: Scapegoat | Nov 20, 2012 8:32:45 PM
FULL BLOWN PANIC!!!!!!!
Posted by: George Hanson | Nov 20, 2012 8:38:55 PM
Why not sign Kasay????? Isnt he out of the league right now? Oh let me guess, he laughed at the thought of coming back here! LOL
Posted by: Big Daddy | Nov 20, 2012 8:40:43 PM
Justin Medlock was not the problem here. Ron Rivera is an incompetent head coach that CAN'T BE FIRED SOON ENOUGH! Graham Gano...give me a break...he is no upgrade over Medlock. John Kasay should have been signed for the remainder of this joke of a season but Rivera and his entire staff couldn't figure that out if it was in front of them. Most fans can't wait for this season to end. THIS TEAM IS IN SHAMBLES AND RIVERA AND CO DO NOT HAVE A CLUE! GO FIGURE!
Posted by: Whitecomet77 | Nov 20, 2012 8:40:58 PM
Medlock sucks. Good call on that one. But in other news. Rivera also sucks. Maybe we got him 5 years too soon.
Posted by: tom | Nov 20, 2012 9:07:17 PM
they should just move to L.A..this city just can't take anymore...I honestly can't fathom why people ever watch a single Panther or Bobcat game?...its a total embarrassment to be seen there , to wear the gear or to tell anyone your a fan or even from Charlotte. When I'm traveling and people ask where I'm from I always tell them where I was born , never Charlotte. All I read is the hate , Cam should go , coaches should go , J.R should sell , Deangelo is awful , Smitty should shut up , M.J is an awful owner...good grief...just stop paying attention already!
Posted by: Kurt | Nov 20, 2012 9:30:50 PM
Rivera makes me shake my head, if he had went for it on the fourth and 1, end of conversation.... He gives up on players wayyyy to soon, he will be next to be CUT!
Posted by: Dullclaws_07 | Nov 20, 2012 9:36:50 PM
Did not like Medlock from the preseason. Should have kept Olindo Mare.
Posted by: par404 | Nov 20, 2012 9:52:28 PM
It's the curse of the Great Kas-ino.
Posted by: Curry | Nov 20, 2012 9:54:03 PM
Just like John Fox - blame everyone but yourself. We are where we are primarily due to Rivera's own stupidity. Cutting players wont help that.
And Nakamura has more missed tackles in one game than Medlock has had all year - yet he still starts. More proof Rivera has no clue what he is doing.
Posted by: manu4t | Nov 20, 2012 9:54:24 PM
I meant Nakamura has more missed tackles in one game than Medlock has missed kicks all year.
Posted by: manu4t | Nov 20, 2012 9:55:01 PM
Unless Medlock simply couldn't hit a long field goal, then this seems pointless to me. Seriously, the guy hit his first seven field goals and didn't miss any last second ones like Mare. He also seemed good on kickoffs so I really wish Rivera would explain this. He hasn't cut Norman for getting burnt so many times and, though I think he's doing well for the most part, Nortman has shanked more punts and had more returns for touchdowns than Medlock had missed field goals.
Posted by: Phillip | Nov 20, 2012 10:19:31 PM
a coach who is getting fired in a couple weeks signing a kicker who is the best long term answer! that's balls!
Posted by: joe cool | Nov 20, 2012 10:27:48 PM
Nortman better not have another shanked punt, because he's next on the choping block.....then Murphy, Nakamura, and oh yea Rivera the guy who wanted them on the roster......
Posted by: Panther | Nov 20, 2012 10:40:49 PM
you are the definition of a fairweather fan. Alot of people throw the word around incorrectly and inaccuratley accusing concerned and realistic fans of being that.
Posted by: Kurt is an idiot!!!! | Nov 21, 2012 9:09:13 AM
Medlock was impressive at a windy Soldier field and was a key to the victory we gave away to the Bears. 2 bad kicking games should have been reviewed at the end of the year, but not an instant-canning. (Denver & TB) There are so many problems with this team, where do we start? Very sad...
Posted by: Russell | Nov 21, 2012 5:33:28 PM
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