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Panthers sign four players for 2012

The 2012 offseason is less than a week old, but the Panthers already are making plans for next season.

Draft Order: Carolina will pick eighth or ninth in the first round of the NFL Draft on April 26.

The Panthers and Miami Dolphins each finished with a 6-10 record and had a .504 strength of schedule. As a result, the NFL will conduct a coin flip after the playoffs to determine who selects eighth and who chooses ninth.

Carolina currently has one selection in each of the seven rounds, except the third. The Panthers traded their third-round choice to Chicago in exchange for tight end Greg Olsen last July. It is possible that they could receive additional picks when the league awards compensatory choices, typically in March.

Future Signings: Carolina has signed four players to "future" contracts for the 2012 season.

All four of the players - guard Roger Allen, linebacker Phillip Dillard, tight end Greg Smith and cornerback Reggie Sullivan - spent time on the team's practice squad in 2011.

The contracts are referred to as "future" contracts because even though the players have signed, they do not officially become members of the roster until the beginning of the new league year - March 14.

G Roger Allen 2 Missouri Western State
LB Phillip Dillard 2 Nebraska
TE Greg Smith 1 Texas
CB Reggie Sullivan 1 Johnson C. Smith

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