The Panthers announced that they’ve re-signed defensive end Mario Addison to a three-year deal. Addison, 30, was scheduled to become a free agent next week, but is now locked up through the 2019 campaign at a total cost of $22.5MM, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Addison will receive $11.5MM in guaranteed money and earn $9.75MM in 2017, per Rapoport (on Twitter), while the total value of the pact could creep to $25.05MM.
“Mario has shown he is one of the best emerging pass rushers in the league and he deserves this contract,” general manager Dave Gettleman said in a statement. “He consistently affects the quarterback, and we envision an increased role for him in our defense. He’s a pro in the way he approaches the game and brings an upbeat attitude to our locker room. We’re thrilled he will continue his career with the Panthers.”
Addison led Carolina with 9.5 sacks in 2016 and graded as the No. 16 edge defender in the league, per Pro Football Focus, but did so while playing on fewer than 500 defensive snaps, an indication that he may not be capable of playing a full-time role. However, Panthers head coach Ron Rivera did refer to Addison as a “complete defensive end” at the end of last season, and he’s certainly a valuable defender as a rotational option.
PFR’s No. 14 free agent edge defender, Addison had indicated an interest in re-signing with the Panthers earlier this year. With Addison’s deal now complete, Carolina will now turn its attention to retaining other members of its defensive line, which led the NFL in sacks last season. Kawann Short, Charles Johnson, Wes Horton, and Kyle Love are all heading for the open market, and could become unrestricted free agents on March 9.
Addison’s new yearly average of $7.5MM represents a significant raise from the $1.28MM annual salary he earned under the terms of his previous extension with Carolina. Additionally, that $7.5MM figure makes Addison one of the NFL’s top 10 highest-paid 4-3 defensive ends, as he’s now just behind the Vikings’ Everson Griffen and the Bengals’ Carlos Dunlap.
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