The Carolina Panthers decided to extend three lesser-known names today, but all three of them are intriguing role players who will have significant jobs next season. Jordan Gross’s decision to retire left the Panthers in a huge trouble spot at offensive tackle with only Byron Bell returning, and Bell was already seen as somebody who needed to be upgraded going into the offseason. He’ll man one of the tackle positions (most likely left, though that isn’t set in stone at this point in the offseason), with Nate Chandler manning the other.
Speaking of Chandler, the projected starter was one of the three players extend, as the Panthers announced a three-year extension for Chandler and two-year extensions for defensive end Mario Addison and safety Colin Jones, who is an ace special teamer and deserves to be locked up.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter reports that the Panthers are high on Chandler, and hopefully he’s a better blocker than Bell. Their faith in him seems to indicate that, and it will be interesting to see how he does protecting Cam Newton. Addison is a player who stands out to me at times, and he could be a very good situational pass rusher in this league. Although the Panthers drafted Kony Ealy, whom they also appear to love, and have an elite DE duo in Greg Hardy and Charles Johnson, there should still be room for Addison to make his presence felt as a pass rusher.