CHARLOTTE — The Panthers still had a need at receiver, even after agreeing to terms with veteran Adam Thielen.
They found some help for him on Friday.
The team agreed to terms with free agent wide receiver DJ Chark, giving them an outside target with size at a time they need one.
The former Jaguars second-rounder posted big numbers in 2019, with 73 catches for 1,008 yards and eight scores.
The 26-year-old has been limited by injuries (playing 54 games in the last five seasons), but was productive last year with the Lions, catching 30 passes for 502 yards (16.7 per reception) and three touchdowns in 11 games.
He had four catches for 108 yards for the Lions against the Panthers in December, but that was his second-best game against his new team. In 2019 when he was with the Jaguars, he had eight catches for 164 yards and two touchdowns in their 34-27 loss at Bank of America Stadium.
The 6-foot-4, 198-pound Chark grew up in Alexandria, La., and played at LSU just before new teammate Terrace Marshall Jr. arrived there (though he was there with Panthers cornerback Donte Jackson).
It's a significant addition for a team that sent DJ Moore to Chicago in the deal for the No. 1 overall pick, as they lacked proven receiving targets for the quarterback they're about to draft.
The Panthers have backstopped the future pick with running back Miles Sanders and tight end Hayden Hurst in the first week of free agency, along with backup quarterback Andy Dalton. Coupled with retaining free agent center Bradley Bozeman to keep the offensive line together and an offensive coaching staff with a ton of experience, it's a significant boost for one of the guys they're out on the road getting to know now.
DJ Chark began his career in Jacksonville where he played from 2018-21 before going to Detroit in 2022.