Kicker Graham Gano has agreed to a four-year deal worth up to $17 million, the team announced Tuesday. His new deal contains with it $9 million in guarantees. The two parties agreed to the deal hours before the franchise tag deadline on Tuesday.
Graham Gano Signs Four-Year Deal With Carolina Panthers
Gano has spent the last six seasons with the Panthers and is coming off one of the best seasons of his career. In 2017, Gano went 29/30 on field goal attempts, a percentage of 96.7% which was a career high and led the NFL. He also converted 34/37 of his extra point attempts. He also converted a league-best 84.3 percent of his kickoffs into touchbacks. Gano was voted into his first ever Pro Bowl last season and went 3/3 in the Pro Bowl game for the NFC team.
This was all coming off of one of Gano’s worst seasons of his career in 2016 when the kicker only converted 30/38 on field goal attempts and missed a few kicks late in games that could have changed the outcome for the Panthers. In the off-season, Carolina drafted Georgia Tech kicker Harrison Butker in the seventh round of the 2017 draft and it had looked like Gano’s tenure in Charlotte was coming to an end.
However, Gano responded during the preseason and won the starting kicking job which forced Butker to be assigned to the practice squad. He eventually made his way to the Kansas City Chiefs after they placed starter Cairo Santos on injured reserve.
In his six seasons with Carolina, Gano has converted on 85.3 percent of his field goal attempts and has convered 95.6 percent of his extra point attempts. Gano led the league in extra points made (56) and was second in points scored (146) during the Panthers NFC Championship run back in 2015.
Gano signed as an undrafted free agent in 2009 with the Baltimore Ravens but he was waived before the season started. He then signed later that year with the Washington Redskins where he played for three seasons.
Gano played college football at Florida State University and spent his first two seasons as a punter for the Seminoles. In 2008, Gano took over place kicker duties and went on to lead the NCAA in field goals made and field goal percentage while winning the Lou Groza award.