CHARLOTTE - The Carolina Panthers have signed free agent Jyles Tucker, a defensive end familiar with the coaching staff and the state of North Carolina.
Tucker previously played outside linebacker for the San Diego Chargers, where Panthers head coach Ron Rivera served as defensive coordinator prior to coming to Carolina in 2011. Tucker is a product of Wake Forest University, about 80 miles northeast of Charlotte.
Undrafted out of Wake Forest, Tucker signed as a rookie free agent with the Chargers in 2007. He recorded 3.5 sacks as a rookie in just six games, then he started 12 games in 2008 and recorded 5.5 sacks.
Injuries slowed Tucker in 2009 and 2010, when he played in a total of 10 games with no starts, and he didn't play in the NFL last season after the Chargers released him prior to training camp.