Inside the Panthers

Panthers sign first-round draft pick Vernon Butler

Rookie defensive tackle Vernon Butler

Carolina Panthers rookie defensive tackle Vernon Butler spoke to the media following Friday morning's rookie minicamp practice.
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Carolina Panthers rookie defensive tackle Vernon Butler spoke to the media following Friday morning's rookie minicamp practice.

The first turned out to be last.

But when Carolina Panthers first-round defensive tackle Vernon Butler signed a four-year contract Friday morning, it meant the Panthers' entire draft class was under contract two hours before the start of the team's two-day rookie minicamp.

Butler, as the 30th overall pick, will earn an estimated $8.4 million, with a $4.3 million signing bonus, under the NFL's slotted wage scale for rookies.

Butler, 6-4 and 323 pounds, collected five sacks and 29.5 tackles for loss at Louisiana Tech. He joins a deep defensive tackle rotation that includes Pro Bowler Kawann Short, former first-round pick Star Lotulelei, free agent pickup Paul Soliai and recently re-signed Kyle Love.

The Panthers' five draft picks, along with seven undrafted free agents and 35 tryout players will practice three times over the next two days in Charlotte.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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