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Panthers exercise Kuechly's fifth-year option


CHARLOTTE – The Carolina Panthers have exercised the fifth-year option on linebacker Luke Kuechly's rookie contract. Kuechly is now under contract through the 2016 season.

The ninth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, Kuechly has led the NFL in tackles in two of his three seasons. Kuechly was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2014 and 2013.

Based on press box statistics, Kuechly has amassed 473 tackles through his first three seasons – 44 more than any other NFL player over the same time frame. Based on coaches' film review, he has 547 tackles.

A look at Luke Kuechly's career with the Carolina Panthers in photos.

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