Inside the Panthers

Panthers might be forced to use franchise tag before Tuesday’s deadline after all

Carolina Panthers punter Michael Palardy, left, congratulates kicker Graham Gano, right, following a field goal against the New York Jets during first quarter action at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on Sunday, November 26, 2017.
Carolina Panthers punter Michael Palardy, left, congratulates kicker Graham Gano, right, following a field goal against the New York Jets during first quarter action at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ on Sunday, November 26, 2017. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

The Panthers are actively working to sign kicker Graham Gano to a long-term deal before tomorrow’s franchise tag deadline, a source told the Observer on Monday afternoon.

If they can’t get one done, placing the tag on Gano is likely.

The tag value for kickers is projected around $4.8 million this season. The deadline is 4 p.m. on Tuesday. Gano will then have until July 16 to work out a long-term deal or play under the tag.

The Panthers drafted Georgia Tech kicker Harrison Butker in the seventh round last year, and he and Gano competed for the job in training camp. The Panthers kept Gano, and Butker went on to have a strong rookie season with Kansas City.

Gano, who will be 31 this April, missed eight field goals in 2016 and had to get surgery to repair a broken bone in his foot. In 2017, he missed just one field goal attempt and three extra points attempts to earn a Pro Bowl berth.

Jourdan Rodrigue: 704-358-5071, @jourdanrodrigue

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