CHARLOTTE – The Panthers have signed a pair of offensive linemen formerly in the Alliance of American Football.
Center Parker Collins and guard Kitt O'Brien signed one-year contracts with Carolina three days after the AAF suspended operations near the end of its first season. Collins and O'Brien aren't strangers to NFL locker rooms.
Collins, an Appalachian State product, went undrafted in 2017 but spent the offseason with the Jaguars and Rams and part of the 2018 offseason with the Steelers. The 6-foot-2, 300-pounder was Appalachian State's starting center in 2016 after starting at guard in 2014 and '15. He was on the injured list for the AAF's Atlanta Legends after suffering an ankle sprain a couple of weeks ago.
"It's really a dream come true," Parker said. "I'm so thankful and blessed that the Panthers took a chance on me."
O'Brien spent parts of the 2015 and '16 seasons on the Colts practice squad and part of the 2017 offseason with the Browns. The 6-foot-5, 325-pounder, a three-year starter at Ball State, went undrafted in 2013 and played two seasons in the Arena Football League. He's coming off a stint with the AAF's Birmingham Iron.
"This is where I wanted to get to through my time in the AAF," O'Brien said. "It's just crazy that it happened the way that it happened, but I'm ecstatic."