CHARLOTTE – With certainly one of their common pass-catchers heading into the free agent market subsequent month, the Panthers held onto a few of their depth on the place.
The Panthers signed large receivers Brandon Zylstra and Keith Kirkwood to one-year offers Monday. They had been each scheduled to be restricted free brokers.
Zylstra, 27, performed in each recreation and caught three passes for 35 yards final season.
Of these receiving yards, 28 of them got here dramatically — on a faux punt towards the Chiefs, hauling within the shock cross from punter Joseph Charlton.
Kirkwood, 26, performed in only one recreation final yr due to accidents. He began the season on injured reserve, was activated for the Bears recreation, however re-injured his left clavicle and was shut down for the yr. He caught one cross for 13 yards.
As a rookie with the Saints in 2018 (when Panthers offensive coordinator Joe Brady was on employees there), Kirkwood caught 13 passes for 209 yards and two touchdowns. He additionally performed for Panthers head coach Matt Rhule at Temple.
The Panthers have beginning wideouts DJ Moore and Robby Anderson beneath contract, although Curtis Samuel is slated to turn out to be an unrestricted free agent on March 17. None of the remainder of the receivers on the roster in the meanwhile (Marken Michel, Ventell Bryant, Amara Darboh, Omar Bayless, and Ishmael Hyman) caught a cross final yr.
The Panthers nonetheless have two RFAs they’d prefer to retain — offensive deal with Trent Scott and defensive deal with Efe Obada.
Scott began seven video games at left deal with due to accidents to Russell Okung. A recognized commodity to line coach Pat Meyer from San Diego, Scott offers a little bit of insurance coverage at a place in flux.
The Panthers have simply certainly one of their beginning linemen from final yr beneath contract (middle Matt Paradis), although they’re anticipated to make use of the franchise tag on proper deal with Taylor Moton if they can not attain a long-term deal.
Obada developed right into a strong inside rusher, and was second on the group with 5.5 sacks final yr.