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Carolina Panthers sign Kelvin Benjamin, Trai Turner; all draftees under contract

PANTHERS0605_03
Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin (13) signed his rookie contract on Wednesday, and the team now has all of its draft picks signed.

Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and offensive guard Trai Turner have signed their rookie deals, meaning all six of the team’s picks in May’s NFL draft are under contract.

Both deals were for four years, and though terms were not disclosed, the rookie pay scale means Benjamin’s four-year deal is worth about $7.6 million.

With the new collective bargaining agreement, rookie contracts are routine and there are rarely the holdouts seen with the old CBA pre-2011.

The Panthers selected Benjamin with the 28th overall selection. The 6-foot-5, 240-pound receiver gives the Panthers and quarterback Cam Newton one of the largest targets in the NFC South.

Turner, the team’s third-round pick at No. 92 overall, played with the first team at right guard Wednesday, when Chris Scott sat out with an illness. The Panthers like the maturity Turner, 20, shows, and they’re working him at guard and at backup center.

Sixth-round running back Tyler Gaffney was the first Carolina draft pick to sign in mid-May before going back to Stanford. Fourth-round safety Tre Boston and fifth-round cornerback Bene’ Benwikere followed on May 20, and second-round defensive end Kony Ealy inked his $3.55 million deal last Thursday.

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