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Panthers re-sign DE Applewhite

Posted Mar 30, 2012

CHARLOTTE – Unrestricted free agent Antwan Applewhite, a versatile performer who helped the Panthers at defensive end, linebacker and on special teams last season, has re-signed with the team.

After joining Carolina on Oct. 5, 2011, as a free agent, Applewhite played in all 12 of the Panthers' remaining games – with one start – and produced 21 tackles, two sacks and one forced fumble as well as three special teams tackles.

He also recorded a safety when he sacked Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan in the end zone in a Week 13 game.

"Antwan came in last year and brought some experience with him and knowledge about what we were trying to do on defense," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said. "He brings leadership and experience, and he also brings versatility. He can play defensive end and linebacker, and he also plays in all four phases of special teams."

The 6-3, 258-pound Applewhite arrived in Carolina armed with a familiarity of head coach Ron Rivera's defensive philosophy, having spent his first four NFL seasons alongside Rivera in San Diego.

The Chargers signed Applewhite as an undrafted rookie free agent from San Diego State in 2007, and he had his best year in 2010, when he started 13 games and recorded 48 tackles, three sacks and two forced fumbles. He spent training camp last season with the San Francisco 49ers before being released prior to the start of the regular season.

Applewhite is the second unrestricted free agent to re-sign with the Panthers in the last week, joining quarterback Derek Anderson. The Panthers also signed guard Geoff Hangartner and long snapper J.J. Jansen, who could have become unrestricted free agents, to extensions prior to the start of the new league year.