Panthers Release K Graham Gano

The Panthers have released Graham Gano, according to a social media post from his wife (Twitter link via Joe Person of The Athletic). The veteran kicker was slated to make $3MM this year.

Joey Slye, meanwhile, is under contract for just $675K. It’s a cost-cutting maneuver for Carolina, though the team will be left with even more dead money on the books. The Panthers have saved $2.8MM while taking on a leftover $1.5MM charge, to be dispersed over the next two years. All in all, the Panthers overhaul has saddled them with nearly $43MM in dead money in 2020.

Gano was tremendous in his last full season in 2017, sinking 29 of his 30 field goal tries for a league-leading 96.7% conversion rate. That performance earned him the first Pro Bowl bid of his career, and it also helped him secure a four-year, $17MM deal. Before his release, Gano had the fifth-highest AAV ($4.25MM) of any kicker in the NFL.

Now, the job belongs to Slye. Known for his strong leg, Slye nailed 78.1% of his kicks in 2019, with an 8-of-11 success rate from 50+ yards. He also missed four extra point tries, but the Panthers seem to think that he’ll tamp that number down moving forward.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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11 comments on “Panthers Release K Graham Gano

    • crosseyedlemon

      It’s appalling that the best ever (Adam Vinatieri) is being left in limbo and not even being offered the vet minimum by teams desperate for help with their kicking game.

      • bradthebluefish
        bradthebluefish

        His age and leg strength are on the decline. Had a rough start to the season last year. Not sure how viable he is going forward.

    • mlbnyyfan

      He’ll go to Dallas. They have signed Forbath and Zuerlein. Why not sign 3 Kickers

  1. Ak185

    Now this is some NFL stuff i’l never get. One of the league’s better kickers gets released to save…$3 million? Not even $3 million, given the dead money? For what? A guy who can hit a 63 yard game winner and make over 95% of his field goals two years ago and hasn’t stunk it up is now gone…for less than $2 million in actual savings on a team not squeezed for cap space. Did he ask to be released?

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