Panthers tender restricted free agent Byron Bell

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The Panthers re-signed fullback/tight end Richie Brockel on Monday before they had to tender him as a restricted free agent, but they’ll be going the tender route with tackle Byron Bell.

Carolina announced that they were tendering Bell on Monday without noting the level of the tender, but Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reports that it is of the second-round variety. If Bell signs it, he’ll make $2.187 million in 2014. If another team wants to sign him away, it will cost them a second-round pick to secure Bell’s services.

Bell has made 40 starts at right tackle for the Panthers over the last three years and his performance is one of the reasons why the Panthers need to focus on upgrading the offensive line this offseason. With Jordan Gross retired, the Panthers couldn’t really afford to let him get away but it wouldn’t be a surprise if someone else was starting come the regular season.

The Panthers also tendered exclusive rights free agent Chris Scott, who made eight starts at guard last season. As with Bell, there’s uncertainty at guard in Carolina but upgrading from Scott would be a good thing for the offense.