The Panthers have locked up a pair of players before they reached free agency, the team announced today in a press release. Tight end and fullback Richie Brockel has inked a two-year deal, forgoing restricted free agency, while offensive lineman Garry Williams has signed a one-year contract to avoid unrestricted free agency.
Brockel, 27, appeared in just over 200 offensive snaps last season and was also a productive special teams player for the Panthers. Williams, meanwhile, began the year as the team’s starting right guard, but went down with a torn ACL in the first week of the regular season. Williams may return to a starting role for the team in 2014, with Jordan Gross retiring and other linemen eligible for free agency.