The Panthers' first free agent signing of the Dave Gettleman era is a defensive tackle who has been out of the NFL for two years.
Colin Cole was cut by Seattle before 2011 season and has not played since. The Panthers signed him Thursday to provide depth and competition at a position where Dwan Edwards is an unrestricted free agent and Ron Edwards could be a salary cap casualty.
Cole, 6-2 and 328 pounds, is expected to line up at nose tackle, where Frank Kearse ended last season as the starter after Ron Edwards went on injured reserved with a dislocated elbow.
Cole was born in Toronto, played at Iowa and spent his first five NFL seasons in Green Bay as a backup. He was a starter in Seattle before going on injured reserve in 2010 with a serious ankle injury.
He began training camp in 2011 on the physically unable to perform list and was among the Seahawks' final cuts that summer. Cole, who will be 33 when camp begins, has 218 tackles and 4.5 sacks in 84 career games.
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