Less than two weeks ahead of the start of the signing period, Carolina re-signed defensive end Mario Addison to a three-year deal on Sunday. NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported that the contract is worth $22.5 million, per a source.
Addison was slated to become an unrestricted free agent on March 9, but is now under contract in Charlotte through 2019.
"Mario has shown he is one of the best emerging pass rushers in the league and he deserves this contract," Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said in a team statement. "He consistently affects the quarterback, and we envision an increased role for him in our defense."
During Carolina's disappointing 2016 campaign, Addison was one of a few bright spots. His career-high 9.5 sacks in 2016 led the team and his 22 QB takedowns since 2014 are also a franchise-best in that time span.
Addison is the first of the Panthers' five UFA defensive linemen to re-sign with the team. Carolina will likely throw big money at defensive tackle Kawann Short, who is a top-10 free agent this offseason, through either a new contract, as the team did with Addison, or a franchise tag, valued at $13.615 million. Charles Johnson, a 30-year-old Panthers lifer, will also be on the market.