CHARLOTTE – The Panthers took a big step toward stabilizing their offensive line Tuesday.
The team placed the franchise tag on right tackle Taylor Moton, guaranteeing he'll be here for at least one more season.
The one-year deal guaranteed by the tag will pay Moton between $13 million and $14 million, depending on the final salary cap number (which hasn't been finalized). The cap is dropping from $198.2 million to around $180 million this year, tightening things up across the NFL.
The team still hopes to sign him to a long-term deal, and can until July 15.
The 26-year-old Moton has started every game each of the last three seasons. Having him back was crucial, as center Matt Paradis was the only other starter under contract.
Moton, a 2017 second-round pick from Western Michigan, has played nearly every snap during that span (missing six snaps in 2019, or 0.54 percent of the team's total), and was only called for one penalty last year.
The Panthers have also brought back reserve tackle Trent Scott, and have Dennis Daley and Greg Little under contract along with last year's practice squaders, but they're obviously far from finished putting together the line.
But they've taken the biggest step, securing their best player.
Moton is the third offensive lineman the Panthers have tagged in franchise history, and both left tackle Jordan Gross and center Ryan Kalil went on to sign long-term deals with the team.
View the best photos of tackle Taylor Moton during his first four seasons with the Carolina Panthers.