The Panthers have signed free agent wide receiver Russell Shepard to a three-year deal, reports David Newton of ESPN.com. Shepard was a popular free agent in this cycle, drawing interest from six teams in total.
The incumbent Buccaneers, Bills, and Lions also worked to sign Shepard this week. Reportedly, some of the teams interested in Shepard believed that he could be a No. 3 receiver, with a chance of being a No. 2 WR. Other clubs reportedly offered to make him “one of the highest-paid special-teams players in the league with multiple offensive packages.”
Shepard showed what he could do on offense last season, recording 23 receptions for 341 yards and two touchdowns. It will be interesting to see how the Panthers use the former Bucs special teams captain.
The Panthers wide receiver depth chart is now headlined by Kelvin Benjamin, Devin Funchess, and Russell Shepard. Brenton Bersin and Damiere Byrd currently project to hold the WR4 and WR5 spots, but lots can change between now and September. Wide receiver Laron Byrd was not retained as restricted free agent and Philly Brown is meeting with other teams.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.