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Panthers sign OL Ryan Kalil to two-year extension

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After a banner season for the Carolina Panthers' offensive line, the team has chosen to award the unit's heart and soul.

Five-time Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil inked a two-year extension Monday, the team announced. Per NFL Media's Rand Getlin, the extension is worth $16.75 million, with $13 million in guarantees.

Kalil, 31, was a second-round pick by the Panthers back in 2007.

With a complex, run-based offense, a quarterback hitting his stride and an offensive coordinator returning for yet another season, locking up the man who identifies protections and adjusts blocking reads is crucial toward Carolina's success in 2016 and beyond.

Center is a position that is becoming increasingly difficult to develop. As offensive line coaches struggle with high-pedigree left tackles coming out of college, they must also find centers that can keep up with the information overload and higher emphasis on interior pass rushing. Carolina has run and pass options on nearly every play and a mobile quarterback who isn't afraid to call his own number.

The bottom line is that good teams in playoff contention don't let centers walk into free agency.

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