The Carolina Panthers made their signing of defensive tackle Dontari Poe official on Friday afternoon.
Poe was drafted by Kansas City in 2012, and he became a two-time Pro-Bowler there. He most recently played a one-year deal in Atlanta, and has a three-year, $27 million deal with the Panthers, according to a source.
Here are five things we learned about him via a conference call:
▪ His “prove-it” deal in Atlanta did just that.
“It seemed like there was a little doubt from a lot of people,” Poe said of the one-year contract with the Falcons. “I just wanted to prove to them that I could still play and that I have a lot of good years left in front of me. I feel like I did that, and here we are.”
Poe, a space-eating, run-stuffing interior defensive lineman, had 2.5 sacks and defensed two passes while with Atlanta.
▪ He’s well aware of Kawann Short, Julius Peppers and the reputation of the Panthers’ defensive line.
Of Short, beside whom he will line up, Poe said: “I know he’s a good player. He’s not a secret. It’s a fun defensive line, a fun defense altogether. I’m excited to be a part of it.”
Of Peppers, who will return for another season, Poe said: “I’m excited to be his teammate. I watched him from the outside for a lot of years and admired his game. And now, it’s going to be good to be playing with him.”
▪ He’s comfortable managing his playing weight.
Poe said he currently weighs between 335-340 pounds, and there he’ll stay.
▪ He’s not opposed to playing offense.
Poe has experience in trick formations as a fullback and quarterback. He has two rushing touchdowns and one passing touchdown in his six-year career.
“If they come up to me and say they need me (on offense), I’m down for it,” he said. “We’ll see how that goes. My game is playing defensive tackle, but if they want to throw that in there, we’ll have some fun with it.”
▪ He’s a self-described “mama’s boy.”
Off the field, Poe said he likes hanging out with his mother and his family.
“I don’t get into too many wild and crazy things,” he said. “I mostly just chill, go to different places on vacation and just relax.”
In other “ big man” news, the Panthers claimed 6-foot-8, 360-pound offensive tackle Zach Banner off waivers from the Colts late Friday afternoon.