The Panthers aren’t into the whole free agency scene, but dipped their toe in the waters Thursday to add some depth to their offensive line.
The team announced they had signed unrestricted free agent center Gino Gradkowski, formerly of the Falcons, to a three-year deal.
Gradkowski gives them a solid backup to center Ryan Kalil and at guard, though they’re solid with starters Trai Turner and Andrew Norwell. The previous guy in that role, Fernando Velasco, is a free agent.
“He gives us depth at center and guard,” Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. “You feel very secure that if something were to happen, you can plug him in and not lose everything. It’s very much like with Fernando last year when something happened with Kalil, he had to come in and start the Indianapolis game. We believe that’s what Gradkowski can do for us.”
A former fourth-round pick of the Ravens, Gradkowski was traded to Denver in 2015, but was waived in final roster cuts. He was claimed by the Falcons, and played three games with them last year, starting one.