Carolina Panthers receiver Brenton Bersin will stave off free agency for another year.
On Tuesday, amid a flurry of contract-tender announcements and signings, the Panthers announced that they re-signed Bersin to a one-year deal.
“This is a huge day,” Bersin told the team’s website. “I’m excited to be back and excited they want me back.”
It was thought before Tuesday’s signing that Bersin, a former undrafted free agent from Wofford, would test the market when free agency officially opens this Thursday. But the Panthers locked him down before that, in hopes that Bersin will step up in the slot receiver role that will become increasingly important for the offense this season.
Bersin has 24 catches for 287 yards and a touchdown over the span of a three years as an activated player.
Still expected to test the market is receiver Philly Brown. Coach Ron Rivera said at the NFL Combine last week that if both Bersin and Brown returned, expectations for them to step it up in the slot would be raised.
The draft is also thick with young, speedy slot receivers.
Another move expected to help innovate the slot receiver role was the Panthers’ decision to bring former receiver Jerricho Cotchery back in an assistant coaching role, announced last week.
“(Cotchery’s) experience as a slot receiver, (which is) something that we really want to feature and highlight as we start going forward, is something that we feel can help us even more,” said Rivera.