The first move for the Carolina Panthers following their Super Bowl season wasn’t a major one, but it was necessary – locking up dependable long snapper J.J. Jansen with a long-term contract.
Jansen signed a five-year deal Wednesday worth about $5.5 million, according to a league source.
Jansen, who was set to become an unrestricted free agent in March, has been the Panthers’ snapper since 2009 after being acquired in a trade with Green Bay. Jansen hasn’t had a bad snap since the 2010 opener against the Giants – a streak of more than 600 successful snaps.
Jansen was one of two Panthers’ specialists eligible for free agency. The front office also has a decision to make on punter Brad Nortman, a fourth-year player with a big leg who has struggled at times with his consistency.
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The Panthers recently signed CFL punter/kicker Swayze Waters to add to the kicking competition and perhaps serve as a negotiating ploy.
Jansen, 30, a former Notre Dame player, has signed two extensions with the Panthers. He received a four-year deal worth $3.6 million in 2012.
Jansen’s mishap at MetLife Stadium in 2010 – which came on a punt when the ball slipped from his hands – is his only errant snap over seven seasons and more than 1,000 snaps.
“He’s earned this,” special teams coordinator Bruce DeHaven told the team’s website. “He affects the entire special teams. He’s got some size, he’s very smart and he’s got a lot of leadership ability. I can’t say enough great things about him.”