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

K. Pierre-LouisNov 28 06:52p

The Seattle Seahawks placed LB Kevin Pierre-Louis (shoulder) on Reserve/Injured Friday, Nov. 28.

Jerick McKinnonNov 28 06:02p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) has officially been listed as doubtful for Week 13. McKinnon has already said that he will not play.

Latavius MurrayNov 28 04:42p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) will not play in Week 13 after failing the final test of the concussion protocol Friday, Nov. 28.

Arian FosterNov 28 04:22p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is probable for Week 13 after being limited in practice Friday, Nov. 28.

Charles ClayNov 28 04:12p

Miami Dolphins TE Charles Clay (knee, hamstring) did not practice Friday, Nov. 28, and could miss Monday night's game versus the New York Jets.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 28 03:32p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) was limited during practice Friday, Nov. 28, and will be a game-time decision for Week 13, according to head coach Bruce Arians. Arians [ More ]

Ray RiceNov 28 03:02p

Free-agent RB Ray Rice (Ravens) has won the appeal of his indefinite suspension and is eligible to play immediately, according to a source.

Jordan ReedNov 28 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) took part in a full practice Friday, Nov. 28, but is questionable for Week 13 against the Indianapolis Colts.

Dwayne AllenNov 28 02:52p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) missed practice all week and is officially out in Week 13 against the Washington Redskins.

Jerick McKinnonNov 28 02:22p

Minnesota Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon (back) said he has been ruled out for Week 13.

William MooreNov 28 02:22p

The Atlanta Falcons activated SS William Moore (shoulder) from the Active/Reserve/Injured list Friday, Nov. 28. The team also waived OT Cameron Bradfield.

Julius ThomasNov 28 02:12p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) is in attendance for practice Friday, Nov. 28, but is not participating in drills.

Arian FosterNov 28 01:32p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) is expected to play in Week 13 against the Tennessee Titans, according to head coach Bill O'Brien. O'Brien has been pleased with the [ More ]

Larry FitzgeraldNov 28 10:02a

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) said he's highly unlikely to play in Week 13 Sunday, Nov. 30.

Marshawn LynchNov 27 11:52p

Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch had 20 carries for 104 yards in a 19-3 victory over the San Francisco 49ers Thursday, Nov. 27.

Julius ThomasNov 27 07:52p

Denver Broncos TE Julius Thomas (ankle) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Anthony DavisNov 27 07:23p

The San Francisco 49ers have declared OT Anthony Davis, WR Bruce Ellington, DL Glenn Dorsey, QB Josh X. Johnson, WR Quinton Patton, CB Tramaine Brock, TE Vance McDonald inactive for Week 13.

Arian FosterNov 27 07:12p

Houston Texans RB Arian Foster (groin) was limited during practice Wednesday, Nov. 27.

Allen BradfordNov 27 07:12p

The Seattle Seahawks have declared LB Allen Bradford, TE Cooper Helfet, CB Jeremy Lane, LB Kevin Pierre-Louis, C Max Unger, TE Rashaun Allen, DL Travian Robertson inactive for Week 13.

Jordan CameronNov 27 06:32p

Cleveland Browns TE Jordan Cameron (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Latavius MurrayNov 27 04:52p

Oakland Raiders RB Latavius Murray (concussion) was limited during practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Larry FitzgeraldNov 27 04:02p

Arizona Cardinals WR Larry Fitzgerald (knee) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Tony HillsNov 27 03:22p

The Dallas Cowboys have declared LB Dekoda Watson, OG Donald Hawkins, QB Dustin Vaughan, FS Jeff Heath, DL Joshua Brent, OT Tony Hills, CB Tyler Patmon inactive for Week 13.

Taylor HartNov 27 03:12p

The Philadelphia Eagles have declared OT Dennis Kelly, DB Jaylen Watkins, WR Jeff Maehl, OG Julian Vandervelde, QB Nick Foles, CB Rashad Carmichael, DE Taylor Hart inactive for Week 13.

Jordan ReedNov 27 03:02p

Washington Redskins TE Jordan Reed (hamstring) was limited in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Dwayne AllenNov 27 02:32p

Indianapolis Colts TE Dwayne Allen (ankle) did not participate in practice Thursday, Nov. 27.

Kyle FullerNov 27 11:32a

Chicago Bears CB Kyle Fuller (knee) will play in the team's Week 13 game against the Detroit Lions. Fuller had been questionable during the week.

Lance BriggsNov 27 11:22a

The Chicago Bears have declared WR Chris X. Williams, LB Darryl Sharpton, OT Eben Britton, DL Jeremiah Ratliff, LB Lance Briggs, CB Terrance Mitchell, DL Trevor Scott inactive for Week Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

The Detroit Lions have declared QB Kellen Moore, OG Larry Warford, DE Larry Webster, DL Nick Fairley, RB Reggie Bush, OT Riley Reiff, WR Ryan Broyles inactive for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 11:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is inactive Thursday, Nov. 27, for Week 13.

Reggie BushNov 27 10:12a

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is out for Week 13 Thursday, Nov. 27. His ankle isn't responding well enough, but the hope is to return for Week 14.

R. Griffin IIINov 27 09:53a

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III is highly unlikely to return to the team next season, sources within the organization said. Head coach Jay Gruden convinced owner Daniel Snyder [ 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