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Carolina Panthers

Eleven Panthers become free agents

Eleven Panthers became free agents when the NFL's veteran free agency signing and trading period began on Tuesday.

Of those 11 players, nine are unrestricted free agents. The group includes several who contributed as starters last season.

QB Derek Anderson
DE Antwan Applewhite
G Mackenzy Bernadeau
LB Dan Connor
LB Omar Gaither
CB Cletis Gordon
WR Legedu Naanee
LB Jordan Senn
TE Jeremy Shockey

The Panthers did not tender contracts to two players: guard Geoff Schwartz - who could have been a restricted free agent, and linebacker Thomas Williams - who could have been an exclusive rights free agent. As a result, they are free agents and may sign with any team.

An unrestricted free agent is defined as a player with four or more accrued seasons whose contract has expired. He is free to sign with any club, with no draft choice compensation owed to his old club, through July 22 (or the first scheduled day of the first NFL training camp, whichever is later).

At that point, his negotiating rights revert exclusively to his old club if by June 1 the old club tendered the player a one-year contract for 110 percent of his prior year's salary. His old club then has until the Tuesday following the 10th week of the regular season (November 13) to sign him. If he does not sign by that date, he must sit out the season. If no tender is offered by June 1, the player can be signed by any club at any time throughout the season.

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