2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Panthers use tag to keep DE Hardy; re-sign K Gano

By STEVE REED - AP Sports Writer
    2014-02-28 16:52

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Panthers used the franchise tag on Greg Hardy on Friday, preventing the outspoken defensive end from hitting the free agent market.

Hardy will make $12.45 million next season.

The team also re-signed kicker Graham Gano to a four-year contract. Financial terms of that deal were not released.

Hardy, known by teammates as ''The Kraken,'' tied a franchise single-season record with 15 sacks in 2013 and was selected second-team All-Pro by The Associated Press. SportsIllustrated.com ranked Hardy as this offseason's top NFL free agent.

Hardy led the Panthers with 38 quarterback pressures and posted a career-high 67 tackles last season.

''We are very pleased that Greg will be back with the Panthers next season,'' Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said in a release. ''He was a big reason we were able to lead the league in sacks last year and keeps our defensive line intact.''

The Panthers have until July 15 to sign Hardy to a long-term contract extension. After that date they can't discuss a contract extension until after the season is over.

''The franchise mechanism gives us time to secure the services of a very good player while we continue to look at the future of Greg with the Carolina Panthers,'' Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said in a release. ''We have had great dialogue with both Greg and his agent. It was important to keep our defensive front together.''

Hardy and Charles Johnson are the only set of teammates to record 10 or more sacks in each of the last two seasons. They have combined for 49.5 sacks during that span, tied for most in the NFL.

A former sixth-round draft pick out of Mississippi, Hardy made the league veteran minimum salary last year.

Hardy said in January he would have no problem if the Panthers used the franchise tag on him after being selected to his first Pro Bowl.

''I would love a franchise (tag), man,'' Hardy said prior to the playoffs. ''Add another year on my career. Get to play football a little bit longer without a contract. Another year to be in Carolina just to get them a chance to get their fiscal responsibilities in order so we can be here forever, like Steve Smith and a lot of other guys.''

Hardy becomes the fifth player in Panthers history to receive the franchise tag, joining punter Todd Sauerbrun (2003), tackle Jordan Gross (2008), defensive end Julius Peppers (2009) and center Ryan Kalil (2011).

Gano helps solidify the team's kicking situation.

The 26-year-old Gano is coming off a successful season, converting 24 of 27 field goal attempts while helping the team to a 12-4 record and the NFC South title.

He set a franchise record and tied for the NFL lead with six made field goals from 50 yards or more. He was the only NFL kicker with three or more attempts from 50 yards or more without a miss from that distance.

''I'm really excited to be back in Carolina,'' Gano said. ''It is where my family and I wanted to be. I love the organization and feel this is the best place for me.''

Rivera said: ''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. Graham has shown range and accuracy in his field goal kicking, and his strong leg has been a weapon for us on kickoffs.''

Of his 82 kickoffs, 76 reached the end zone, including 63 for touchbacks, the highest percentage in the NFL since 1994.

A five-year NFL veteran, Gano spent his first three seasons with the Washington Redskins. He has converted 92 of 118 field goal attempts in his career.

Gano feels like he has some stability on the team, which has helped his game.

''When I was in Washington I went through four holders and that took some getting used to,'' Gano said. ''I finally got comfortable there and made my last 14 of 17 field goals. I've carried over that consistency to Carolina.''

Gano said he was celebrating the new deal by taking his son to Chic-fil-A.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL.

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

A.J. GreenSep 18 09:53a

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green (foot) is likely to play in Week 3, according to head coach Marvin Lewis.

Eric DeckerSep 18 09:32a

Updating previous reports, New York Jets WR Eric Decker (hamstring) was encouraged that he was able to do some jogging in the rehab area of the practice field Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Doug MartinSep 18 09:23a

Tampa Bay Buccaneers RB Doug Martin (knee) and RB Bobby Rainey are expected to split carries in Week 3 and in the near future.

Lamar MillerSep 18 12:43a

Miami Dolphins RB Lamar Miller (ankle) was not on the team's injury report Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Walter ThurmondSep 17 11:23p

New York Giants CB Trumaine McBride is expected to start in place of the injured CB Walter Thurmond (pectoral) in the Week 3 game against the Houston Texans.

Giovani BernardSep 17 11:23p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Giovani Bernard is on pace for 328 carries, while rookie RB Jeremy Hill is ticketed for 152 for a total of 480. That would be the [ More ]

Jeremy HillSep 17 11:23p

Cincinnati Bengals RB Jeremy Hill is on pace for a total of 152 carries, while RB Giovani Bernard is on pace for 328 carries. The most runs in franchise [ More ]

Eric HermanSep 17 11:23p

New York Giants OL Eric Herman is eligible to return to the team after having his four-game suspension for violation of the drug policy voided. The team has [ More ]

Drew StantonSep 17 09:45p

Arizona Cardinals QB Drew Stanton is in line to start his second straight game against the San Francisco 49ers in Week 3 with QB Carson Palmer (shoulder) sidelined. It [ More ]

John AbrahamSep 17 09:13p

Arizona Cardinals LB John Abraham (concussion), LB Alex Okafor (thigh) and DE Frostee Rucker (calf) each did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. LB Larry Foote (shoulder) and P Dave [ More ]

Andre EllingtonSep 17 09:13p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

B. Green-EllisSep 17 08:03p

Several clubs have reportedly reached out to free-agent RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (Bengals), who is still in the process of rehab after suffering a hip injury in the preseason.

Jonathan DwyerSep 17 08:03p

Arizona Cardinals RB Jonathan Dwyer has been deactivated from all team activities Wednesday, Sept. 17. The team was made aware of allegations by the Phoenix police and are cooperating [ More ]

Marshawn LynchSep 17 07:53p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch (back) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Vernon DavisSep 17 07:43p

San Francisco 49ers TE Vernon Davis (ankle) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17, and he is still on crutches.

Justin SmithSep 17 07:43p

San Francisco 49ers CB Tramaine Brock (toe), OT Anthony Davis (hamstring), C Marcus Martin (knee), TE Vance McDonald (knee) and DT Justin Smith (non-injury related) did not practice Wednesday, [ More ]

Terrell ManningSep 17 07:33p

Miami Dolphins LB Terrell Manning was released Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Dion LewisSep 17 07:23p

Arizona Cardinals P Drew Butler, Chicago Bears RB Shaun Draughn and WR Chris X. Williams, Houston Texans LB Jason Ankrah, Indianapolis Colts RB Dion Lewis, Jacksonville Jaguars OT Cameron [ More ]

Jonathan DwyerSep 17 07:03p

Arizona Cardinals RB Jonathan Dwyer is being questioned for a domestic violence incident, according to sources. However, he hasn't been arrested, and his status remains unchanged.

Kelvin BenjaminSep 17 07:03p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin (knee) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Dwan EdwardsSep 17 06:53p

Carolina Panthers OT Byron Bell (toe), WR Philly Brown (ankle), OT Nate Chandler (toe), LB Thomas Davis (hip), DT Dwan Edwards (back), RB Mike Tolbert (chest), RB Fozzy Whittaker [ More ]

DeAngelo WilliamsSep 17 06:53p

Carolina Panthers RB DeAngelo Williams (thigh) did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Shane VereenSep 17 06:43p

New England Patriots RB Shane Vereen (shoulder) has been added to this week's injury report, and he was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Julian EdelmanSep 17 06:43p

New England Patriots WR Julian Edelman (back) was added to the injury report and was limited in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Alfonzo DennardSep 17 06:43p

New England Patriots S Don Jones (hamstring) and LB Jerod Mayo (non-injury) didn't practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DE Michael Buchanan (ankle), LB Jamie Collins (thigh), OG Dan Connolly (knee), [ More ]

Mike PounceySep 17 06:23p

Miami Dolphins DE Terrence Fede (knee), LB Koa Misi (ankle) and OG Shelley Smith (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. OT Branden Albert (shoulder), S Louis Delmas (calf), [ More ]

Ryan CladySep 17 06:13p

Denver Broncos DT Marvin Austin (non-injury), LB Lerentee McCray (knee) and LB Danny Trevathan (knee) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. S David Bruton (shoulder) and OG Ben Garland [ More ]

Cyrus GraySep 17 06:03p

Kansas City Chiefs DB Husain Abdullah (foot, quadriceps), RB Cyrus Gray (foot), WR Frankie Hammond (shoulder), WR Junior Hemingway (hip), OL Eric Kush (shoulder), LB Josh Martin (quadriceps, triceps) [ More ]

M. Jones-DrewSep 17 06:03p

Oakland Raiders RB Maurice Jones-Drew (hand) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17.

Matt McCantsSep 17 06:03p

Oakland Raiders LB Sio Moore (ankle), CB Carlos Rogers (knee), WR Rod Streater (hip) and DE Justin Tuck (illness) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. CB Chimdi Chekwa (knee), [ More ]

Anthony SpencerSep 17 05:53p

Dallas Cowboys DT Davon Coleman (knee), LB Justin Durant (groin), LB Rolando McClain (groin) and RB Joseph Randle (concussion) did not practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Ken Bishop (illness), [ More ]

Montell OwensSep 17 05:53p

Detroit Lions DE Ezekiel Ansah (knee), LB Travis Lewis (quadriceps) and OT LaAdrian Waddle (calf) all did not participate in practice Wednesday, Sept. 17. DT Nick Fairley (biceps), SS [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group