Carolina Panthers

Have the Panthers found their next Ted Ginn Jr.?

Former Utah wide receiver Kaelin Clay, center, scores on a touchdown pass against Stanford in November 2014. Friday, Clay signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers.
Former Utah wide receiver Kaelin Clay, center, scores on a touchdown pass against Stanford in November 2014. Friday, Clay signed a one-year deal with the Carolina Panthers. AP

Former Utah Ute standout Kaelin Clay made national headlines in college in 2014 when, wide open and trotting into the end zone against Oregon, he dropped the ball on the 1-yard line.

But Clay has done nothing but prove he’s out for redemption since, and that includes a chance with the Carolina Panthers this season. The team announced Friday night that it signed Clay to a 1-year deal.

The move was in direct correlation with the loss of veteran receiver and returner Ted Ginn Jr. to the New Orleans Saints in free agency - but it should not preclude the Panthers picking up a speedy wide receiver and/or return man in the NFL draft later this month.

Clay was a standout sprinter in high school in California and was Utah’s go-to burner at receiver, while recovering from the viral drop with three returns-for-touchdown.

Clay is also getting a shot at redemption post-injury. He was drafted in the sixth round by Tampa Bay in 2015, but most recently was released by Baltimore after going on injure reserve with a foot injury. He doesn’t have any NFL receptions, but he did score an 82-yard punt return against the Browns while with Baltimore.

Jourdan Rodrigue: 704-358-5071, @jourdanrodrigue

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