CHARLOTTE – Fozzy Whittaker, a valuable change-of-pace running back coming off his most productive season, has signed a two-year contract to remain with the Panthers through 2018.
Whittaker could have become an unrestricted free agent when the new league year started March 9 but instead become the first potential UFA on the offensive side to re-sign after defensive players Mario Addison, Charles Johnson, Wes Horton and Colin Jones did the same.
"I feel blessed, just honored to be in this position. I'm thankful God saw fit to allow me to play two more years," Whittaker said. "I love it here in Carolina with the Panthers. I'll just continue to work and help bring this team back hopefully to win the Super Bowl."
Whittaker didn't start any games last season but played in all of them and paced the Panthers with 4.6 yards per rush while compiling career highs with 265 yards on the ground and 226 yards receiving. He caught 25 passes, also a career best.
The Panthers signed Whittaker, an undrafted free agent in 2012 out of the University of Texas, early in training camp in 2014. He beat the odds to make the 53-man roster and his been a factor in the backfield and on special teams ever since. This past season, he recorded his first career 100-yard rushing game in the home opener against the 49ers.
"I'll always look back to Day One here. It was the third day of training camp. The team had just put on football pads, but I hadn't put on pads for what seemed like almost a year," Whittaker said. "My first day, I threw the pads on and was thrown into the fire. Ever since then, I've just been blessed by God to be able to play for this team.
"I'll continue to try to elevate my game, continue to be on the rise and be an effective running back and special teams player for this team."