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Panthers tender offer to Sam Franklin

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CHARLOTTE — The Panthers held onto a key special teams contributor Monday.

The team placed a restricted free agent tender on safety Sam Franklin, meaning the core special teams player will return for another year.

The one-year deal is worth $2.627 million, and if another team signed him to an offer sheet, they'd have the opportunity to match.

Franklin emerged as one of the top special teams players in the league this season and led the Panthers in special teams tackles.

He also had a forced fumble against the Buccaneers when he was pressed into some spot duty on defense, but his value remains in the kicking game.

The Panthers have two other RFAs (quarterback PJ Walker and safety Myles Hartsfield), and they have until Wednesday afternoon to tender them an offer or let them go as free agents.

Sam Franklin Jr. led the team with 13 special teams tackles in 2022, the most by a Panthers player since 2012.

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