CHARLOTTE, NC (Joseph Person/The Charlotte Observer) - The Carolina Panthers have locked up Pro Bowl kicker Graham Gano with a new, four-year contract, the team announced Tuesday.
Terms were not immediately available.
The Panthers were prepared to use the franchise tag, at a cost of nearly $5 million this season, to keep him from becoming a free agent if they were unable to get a deal done.
Teams have until 4 p.m. Tuesday to use the tag, and that deadline likely played a part in the two sides reaching an agreement.
Gano, 30, is coming off the best season of his career. He led the NFL in field goal percentage (96.7) after making 29 of his 30 kicks and earning the first Pro Bowl berth of his nine-year career.