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February 28, 2014

Panthers sign K Graham Gano to 4-year deal

The Panthers believe they have finally found a replacement for John Kasay.

The team announced Friday it signed kicker Graham Gano to a four-year deal. Gano was set to become a free agent in less than two weeks. The deal is reportedly worth $12.4 million.

Gano went 24-of-27 on field goals in 2013. His six field goals of 50 yards or more set a franchise record and tied the NFL high for 2013. Gano was also a force off the tee as 77.8 percent of his kickoffs were touchbacks.

"The special teams unit was a large part of our success last year and we are excited to keep Graham as a part of our team,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. “Graham has shown range and accuracy in his field goal kicking, and his strong leg has been a weapon for us on kickoffs.”

He joined the team midway through the 2012 season and signed a two-year deal worth $1.33 million. Gano came to Carolina after the Panthers cut Justin Medlock.

Gano is already the second longest-tenured kicker in Panthers history. Kasay kicked for 15 years for the Panthers--save for a 2002 injury--but since his release following the 2010 season, the Panthers have struggled to replace him. Olindo Mare kicked for the Panthers in 2011 and then lost the job to Medlock in training camp the following year.

Carolina now has 19 players set to become unrestricted free agents on March 11.

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on February 28, 2014 at 10:11 AM | Permalink


that's a lot of money for a kicker. especially when consider all the other holes they have to fill.
Matt Prater in Denver is one of the best and he doesn't make this much I don't think, or maybe he's right under Gano.

Posted by: Pauly | Feb 28, 2014 12:49:23 PM

Pauly - I agree with you that Matt Prater is one of the best. Prater's deal is worth about $13M with a max of $14M. Prater is also not the highest paid kicker.
This deal would put Gano around 5th-7th highest paid kicker.

I think that may be a little high but I don't think we can find someone as good for cheaper.

Posted by: Charles J | Feb 28, 2014 1:25:30 PM

true, good point.

Posted by: Pauly | Feb 28, 2014 2:10:04 PM

I think if he is good enough to get signed for the panters then he should be signed for 13m or even for 14m like prater make. Just saying!

Posted by: Karen Massey | Feb 28, 2014 3:11:41 PM

Good kickers are hard to find...after the bums we had on this team the last few season when you find a good one you keep him.

Posted by: Jamin | Feb 28, 2014 3:47:22 PM

He is worth it, and that is $12M spread over 4 years, probably a little back loaded, so his cap number is probably less than $3M this year. Trust me, if he left, we WOULD miss him greatly. Not likely we would find a better kicker and it is no fun not being confident in your kicker.

Posted by: Steve | Feb 28, 2014 3:58:48 PM

He did lead the NFL in touchbacks. Which is huge. The same people saying this is too much are the same people who wanted to keep Kasey at 3 million and pay a 2nd kicker to kick off

Posted by: spaceman mike | Feb 28, 2014 4:23:07 PM

Release the Kraken!!!!

Posted by: The Kraken | Mar 4, 2014 11:12:06 AM

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