CHARLOTTE – Taylor Heinicke, the Panthers' second-team quarterback last season, has signed a one-year contract to remain with the team.
Heinicke, who was set to become a restricted free agent Wednesday before he signed, came to Carolina last offseason after the Panthers claimed him off waivers from the Texans.
"I'm excited to be back with the team," Heinicke said. "It's a relief, after the injury and a long offseason,"
Heinicke started Week 16 against the Falcons in place of Cam Newton and led the offense to a touchdown on the game's opening drive, throwing his first career touchdown pass. Heinicke suffered a left elbow injury on a late hit soon after but returned after sitting out one possession and played through the pain the rest of the day. He was placed on injured reserve after the game
"Rehab is going really well," Heinicke said. "No hiccups or anything."
Kyle Allen, a rookie in 2018 who started for Heinicke in the season finale and led the Panthers to a victory over the Saints, is already under contract for 2019.
"Every year is the same: You come in, compete and do what you can do, and hopefully there's a spot for you," Heinicke. "I'm sure Kyle would tell you the same thing. You just focus on yourself, try to be the best quarterback you can be and go from there."
Heinicke appeared in six games all told last season, completing 35-of-57 passes for 320 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions (all against the Falcons after the injury). He was undrafted out of Old Dominion in 2015 after throwing for 132 career touchdowns.