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Panthers sign K Gano, waive Medlock


CHARLOTTE – Graham Gano, a past winner of the Lou Groza Award that goes to college football's top kicker, is the Panthers' new kicker.

The team signed Gano on Tuesday and waived Justin Medlock, who hit seven consecutive field goals to kick off his first year with the Panthers but missed the mark on his last three.

"It's a production-based business," interim general manager Brandon Beane said in announcing the decision. "Justin did his best, and we appreciate everything that he did. He's a great person and a great teammate, but unfortunately he missed a couple of kicks over the last couple of weeks.

"You're always looking at options out there. We took a look at a couple of guys and thought Graham Gano was the best fit for us going forward. He's an experienced guy, and he has a real strong leg."

Gano, a native of Scotland who made 24-of-26 field goals as a senior at Florida State, was the Washington Redskins' kicker in 2010 and 2011 and for four games in 2009.

He has connected on 59-of-80 field goals and 59-of-61 extra points as a pro, but his numbers are much better when blocked kicks are taken out of the equation. In Washington, he had six field goals and two PATs blocked. Minus those, he ranked second in franchise history with a 79.8-percent conversion rate on field goals and was perfect on PATs.

Gano made three overtime field goals in 2010 to tie the NFL record and set the Redskins' record for longest field goal with a 59-yarder that same season. His strong leg also came in handy on special teams, helping the Redskins ranks second in the NFL in kickoff coverage in 2010 and 2011.

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