Former Broncos center Matt Paradis agreed to terms with the Panthers on a three-year deal worth $27.03MM, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. The Panthers were not previously believed to be in the running for Paradis, but the free agent season is full of surprises.
The Panthers will guarantee Paradis $13.5MM, per NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter). It’s a top-10 center pact.
Paradis drew interest from the Bills on Monday, but they preferred Mitch Morse, who is now the NFL’s highest-paid center. The Jets were also in on Paradis, and the Broncos had re-engaged in talks with their well-regarded starter Monday night.
But the Panthers came out of nowhere and will install the former sixth-round pick as Ryan Kalil‘s replacement. Kalil recently retired after 12 NFL seasons. Paradis is only four years younger than Kalil, despite coming into the league seven season later. He will turn 30 this year. But the older-than-usual first-time UFA was consistently viewed as one of the NFL’s best centers for the past three seasons.
Paradis had not missed a game until his fibula break ended his 2018 season in November. The Broncos authorized a right tackle-record contract for Ja’Wuan James on Monday night, so their ability to keep Paradis on a near-top-market deal became more difficult. The Panthers are getting Paradis for more than $2MM less than the Bills’ Morse deal, and with the veteran snapper moving along in his rehab, Carolina may not miss much of a beat from Kalil to Paradis.
The Broncos may now turn to Connor McGovern as their center. A guard to open last season, McGovern moved to the snapping role following Paradis’ injury.
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