Panthers tender four exclusive rights free agents


CHARLOTTE – The Panthers have tendered four exclusive rights free agents for the 2018 season. Punter Michael Palardy, wide receiver Damiere Byrd, offensive lineman Tyler Larsen and tight end Chris Manhertz received tenders.

Carolina also re-signed defensive lineman Drew Iddings to a new one-year contract.

Palardy performed well in his first full season as an NFL punter. He established a franchise record in 2017 for net punting average at 42.4 yards, a mark that ranked fifth in the league. He finished the season with a 46.0 yard gross average on 71 punts with 25 placed inside the 20 and a long of 63 yards.

Byrd, whose season was cut short by arm and leg injuries, posted 10 receptions for 105 yards and two touchdowns – all career highs. He also returned a kickoff 103 yards for a touchdown, which stands as the longest play in Panthers history.

Larsen was a valuable backup, playing in 14 games and starting 10 while center Ryan Kalil worked his way back from a neck injury.

Manhertz, the team's No. 3 tight end who saw most of his action on special teams, played in every game and recorded two catches for 17 yards.

The Panthers did not extend a tenders to offensive lineman Dan France, who was also an exclusive rights free agent.

Carolina has until Wednesday, March 14 at 4 p.m. to tender contracts to the team's restricted free agents – wide receiver Kaelin Clay, cornerback LaDarius Gunter, tight end Scott Simonson and offensive lineman David Yankey.

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