The team wrapped up rookie deals Friday morning with the signing of first-round pick Vernon Butler, a defensive tackle out of Louisiana Tech. Per the team's official site, Butler put pen to paper before the team's rookie minicamp opened on Friday.
Per Around The NFL's first-round draft pick signing tracker, that leaves 16 players still waiting to sign their rookie deals.
The 6-4, 323-pound defensive tackle was the definition of 'best player on the board.' The Panthers are already loaded across the defensive line, perhaps more so than any other team in football. Still, it will be interesting to see how Butler gets into the mix.
General manager Dave Gettleman doesn't like to throw money around emotionally, and Butler's development could guard him against overspending on soon-to-be free agents like Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short.
Butler had 170 tackles -- 29.5 for losses -- and another five sacks during his time at Louisiana Tech.