Graham Gano, one of the highest-paid kickers in the league, may be headed to the injured reserve, as David Newton of ESPN.com writes. Gano, who also finished the 2018 season on IR, continues to deal with a sore knee.
The team could carry Gano on its initial 53-man roster and then put him on IR, which would make him eligible for a return later in the season. As Newton observes, Gano is not a trade candidate because of the injury and his high cap number (roughly $3.7MM).
If Gano is not ready for Week 1, the Panthers will likely turn to Joey Slye, unless a more appealing kicker becomes available during final cutdowns. Slye, a Virginia Tech product, auditioned for the Bucs last year but ultimately remained unsigned.
He hooked on with the Giants in May, but Big Blue subsequently waived him. He signed with the Panthers at the beginning of this month and has impressed in the preseason, converting all six of his field goal attempts and both of his extra point chances. He could win the job with a strong showing in Carolina’s preseason finale tonight.
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