Free Agency

Panthers Make Key Signing – Charlotte Observer

Panthers Make Key Signing.

The Panthers have signed place-kicker Justin Medlock to a three-year contract to compete with veteran Olindo Mare.

Medlock will earn the minimum $390,000 this year, with base salaries of $480,000 and $570,000 set for 2013 and 2014, respectively, according to the NFLPA Web site.

Medlock replaces Adi Kunalic, who was waived today.

The Panthers signed Mare to a four-year, $12 million contract last summer after the lockout ended and released John Kasay, a member of the Panthers’ inaugural team who played with New Orleans after Carolina cut him.

The Panthers brought in Kunalic late last season after Mare missed two chip-shot, fourth-quarter field goals.

Medlock, 28, a fifth-round draft choice by Kansas City in 2007, made 1 of 2 field goals as a rookie before the Chiefs released him. He spent the last three years in the Canadian Football League.

Medlock, who played at UCLA, was a CFL All-Star last season after making 49 of 55 field goals with a long of 57 yards.

Medlock made seven field goals in one game last season. CFL kickers are allowed to use a kicking block, although Medlock kicked off the ground, according to his agent, Frank Murtha.

Murtha said Medlock heard from several NFL and CFL teams before signing with Carolina.

β€œHe’s assuming that he’s going to compete with Olindo all the way through training camp,” Murtha said. β€œHe was highly sought after as a CFL free agent. His own club wanted him back, and others. But he knows coming down to the Panthers that he’s going to have to compete with Olindo.”

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