|National Football League|
Panthers sign kicker Gano to 4-year-contract
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) The Carolina Panthers are keeping their kicking game intact.
The Panthers announced Tuesday they have signed Pro Bowl kicker Graham Gano to a four-year contract extension.
The deal is worth $17 million overall with $9 million guaranteed, a person familiar with the situation said. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Tuesday on condition of anonymity because the financial terms of the contract have not been publicly released.
Gano was set to become an unrestricted free agent and the team had considered using the franchise tag on him, but came to an agreement just hours before the deadline to use the tag.
The 30-year-old Gano is coming off his best NFL season, converting all 29 field goals from inside of 50 yards and 29 of 30 overall. He made 34 of 37 extra points.
Gano also set a franchise record and tied the NFL postseason record with his 58-yard field goal in a Wild Card playoff loss at New Orleans.
He's spent the last six seasons in Carolina.
The Panthers drafted Harrison Butker in the seventh round last year providing Gano with some competition. But Gano outkicked Butker in training camp and held on to the job. Gano went on to lead the NFL with a touchback percentage of 85.4, belting a franchise-record 70 of his kickoffs into the end zone.
Butker was cut and later signed with the Kansas City Chiefs.
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Updated March 6, 2018