CHARLOTTE – It didn't take long for interim general manager Marty Hurney to make his first big contract decision.
Guard Trai Turner, a third-round draft pick in 2014 on the final year of his rookie deal, has signed a four-year extension to remain with the Panthers through 2021.
"Any time you're able to secure someone like Trai, a two-time Pro Bowler and a staple of our offensive line, you're very fortunate," Hurney said. "The offensive line is a key to the team's success and Trai is a very integral part of that. We're extremely excited to have Trai under contract for the next five seasons."
Turner has started all 16 games and been named to the Pro Bowl each of the past two seasons. Last year, with the Panthers dealing with several injuries up front, Turner started three games at right tackle. His combination of power and athleticism makes him one of the premier interior offensive linemen in the NFL.
"It's exciting to lock up another quality football player," head coach Ron Rivera said. "It's another situation where we're able to keep our own, and I think it sends a great message to our players. We're going to do the best we can to get these types of deals done."