Wednesday, July 27, 2011
Sources: DeAngelo Williams has deal
ESPN.com news services
CHARLOTTE -- The Carolina Panthers promised they'd be aggressive in free agency and they stayed true to their word Wednesday.
In perhaps the wildest day of transactions in franchise history, running back DeAngelo Williams, the team's all-time leading rusher, and linebackers James Anderson and Thomas Davis all agreed to five-year contracts, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.
According to the sources, Williams agreed to a five-year, $43 million deal that includes $21 million in guaranteed money, while Anderson reached a five-year, $22 million agreement. Anderson's contract has $8.5 million in guarantees. Terms of Davis' deal were unavailable, but a source told Schefter that Mare has a four-year, $12 million agreement with a $4 million signing bonus.
Sources also told Schefter that the team agreed to terms with kicker Olindo Mare on a four-year, $12 million deal and defensive tackle Ron Edwards on a three-year, $8.5 million contract.
Former Jets tight end Ben Hartsock also reached a two-year deal with Carolina, a source told ESPN.com's John Clayton. Earlier in the offseason, the Panthers added former Saints tight end Jeremy Shockey
People familiar with the talks told The Associated Press the Panthers also signed fullback Rick Brockel, defensive backs Cletis Gordan, Devon Hall and Kevin Payne.
The people spoke to The Associated Press on the condition of anonymity because free agents cannot be signed until Friday.
The addition of Mare signals the end of the John Kasay era in Panthers history. Carolina is expected to release the only player remaining from the 1995 expansion team, on Thursday.
Going after Mare over Kasay was due in part to the NFL's new rule that moved kickoffs up 5 yards to the 35-yard line. Mare has more leg strength than Kasay.
The 41-year-old Kasay ranks eighth on the career NFL scoring list with 1,823 points.
Mare is only three years younger than Kasay but still has good leg strength and converted 73 of 83 field goal attempts the last three years with the Seattle Seahawks.
Re-signing the 28-year-old Williams was the big news. A Pro Bowl selection in 2009, Williams received offers from Denver and the New York Giants, but decided to stay in Carolina to play alongside best friend and fellow running back Jonathan Stewart. Williams said Monday night during an online chat his goal was to retire as a Panther.
The flurry of moves came a day after defensive end Charles Johnson agreed to a six-year, $72 million contact.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.