CHARLOTTE – The Panthers continued bolstering its receiving corps, officially signing wide receiver DJ Chark on Thursday.
Chark, 26, brings five years of NFL experience with the Jaguars and Lions to Carolina. He's the Panthers' second wideout signed during this year's free agency period, joining former Viking Adam Thielen.
Here are five things to know about Chark:
1. Holding it down in Detroit: Chark spent last season with the Lions, helping Detroit improve from a 1-6 start to a 9-8 finish in 2022 after returning from an early-season ankle injury. He caught 30 passes for 502 yards (16.7 per reception) with three touchdowns in 11 games last year, third-best on Detroit's roster behind Amon-Ra St. Brown and Kalif Raymond.
2. Breakout year: Chark's best year came in Jacksonville in 2019 when he earned a Pro Bowl nod for his only season at over 1,000 receiving yards. Chark accumulated 1,008 yards on 73 receptions, both career highs, in 15 games that season, averaging 13.8 yards per catch. He also finished with a career-high eight touchdowns in one season.
3. Time with the Jaguars: Before his season with the Lions, Chark played four years in Jacksonville. The Jaguars selected him with the 61st overall pick in 2018, and he played in 11 games as a rookie, taking 11 receptions for 174 yards.
He battled through injuries in Jacksonville, and his four-year stint there ended with a trade to Detroit ahead of 2022. He finished his time there with 2,042 receiving yards on 147 catches for 15 touchdowns in 43 games.
4. "The Flash" at LSU: Chark played college football at LSU from 2014-17, playing a primary role in his last two seasons there. Chark earned his nickname, "The Flash," during his time at LSU, where he finished his career with 1,340 yards on 66 catches, averaging 20.3 yards per reception.
Chark's time at LSU overlapped with current Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson, who played for the Tigers from 2015-17, and tight end Stephen Sullivan, who played there from 2016-19.
5. Louisiana native: Chark will join Jackson, Sullivan, fellow former LSU receiver Terrace Marshall Jr. and safety Xavier Woods as Louisiana natives on Carolina's current roster.
Chark, a native of Alexandria, Louisiana, attended Alexandria Senior High School. He played football and ran track. He left for the NFL before Marshall's freshman year of college, though they attended high schools under two hours apart.
DJ Chark began his career in Jacksonville where he played from 2018-21 before going to Detroit in 2022.