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Panthers extend wide receiver DJ Moore

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CHARLOTTE — The Panthers made a huge splash Friday, without entering the free agent pool at all.

The Panthers have agreed to a new four-year contract with wide receiver DJ Moore.

The 2018 first-round pick was playing on the fifth-year option of his rookie deal, and is now under contract through the 2025 season.

Keeping him here is a huge piece of business, as the team rewards one of its most consistent performers.

Moore has 301 catches for 4,313 yards and 14 touchdowns in his career.

He's topped 1,100 yards each of the last three seasons, one of only two players in the NFL to do that (Buffalo's Stefon Diggs is the other).

But it's the way he plays, as opposed to the numbers he produces, that makes this a significant move.

For all the catches he made last year, head coach Matt Rhule raved about a downfield block he made for a teammate in Dallas, indicative of the kind of effort he puts in.

"I was inspired watching DJ Moore sprinting, running 4.3 down the right sideline to maybe go, probably not, but to maybe go make a block to spring Brandon Zylstra," Rhule said in the aftermath of that game. "When your best players play that hard, you're always going to have a chance."

And by securing him here for the future, the Panthers are giving Moore the opportunity to continue to climb the franchise record lists.

He's fourth all-time in receiving yards (4,313), trailing only Steve Smith Sr., Muhsin Muhammad, and Greg Olsen.

He's sixth in receptions (301), and if he continues his normal pace this year, he'd have a chance to surpass Wesley Walls (324) set his sights on fourth-place Christian McCaffrey (357).

He was also the team's 2021 Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee, recognizing his community service as well as his excellence on the field.

And by leading them on the field, Moore earned that extension, as they build around him for the future.

Moore had his third-straight season with at least 1,200 scrimmage yards in 2021, the only wide receiver to do that in the NFL.