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Williams among 14 restricted free agents tendered by Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers placed restricted free-agent tenders on 14 players Wednesday, including running back DeAngelo Williams, defensive end Charles Johnson and quarterback Matt Moore.

Cornerback Richard Marshall, linebacker James Anderson and tight ends Jeff King and Dante Rosario also were on the list.

There's a good chance, however, that many of these tenders won't be valid once a new collective bargaining agreement is reached. It's part of the strange NFL offseason of uncertainty, with the labor deal set to expire and possible lockout to start as soon as Friday.

Panthers general manager Marty Hurney declined to reveal the type of tenders each player received. Williams' agent, Jimmy Sexton, said his client received the highest tender, which would require teams to surrender first- and third-round draft picks to sign him.

Not only are the salary figures of the tenders uncertain, there's a good chance that players such as Williams, Marshall and Anderson, each with five years of NFL service, will become unrestricted free agents once there's a new labor agreement anyway.

The only reason the Panthers could place tenders on many of these players was the decision by the owners to end the previous CBA after last season. That triggered the elimination of the salary cap in 2010, but it also meant players didn't become unrestricted free agents until they had six years of service instead of four.

The Panthers last week chose to place the more restrictive franchise tag on center Ryan Kalil ahead of Williams and Johnson. Kalil quickly signed that tender, worth more than $10 million guaranteed next season.

Hurney has said the Panthers also would like to re-sign Williams, their all-time leading rusher, and Johnson, who had 11.5 sacks last season. It's uncertain if the Panthers will re-sign Moore as they could potentially bring in help at quarterback after having the NFL's worst offense last season.

When a player is a restricted free agent under the old labor agreement, his current team can match any offer to keep him or receive set compensation in return.

Also given restricted free-agent tenders Wednesday were wide receiver David Clowney, safety Marcus Hudson, long-snapper J.J. Jansen, defensive tackle Derek Landri, kickoff specialist Rhys Lloyd, linebacker Jordan Senn and cornerback C.J. Wilson.

The Panthers didn't extend tenders to safety Gerald Alexander, linebacker Abdul Hodge, center Chris Morris, offensive tackle Rob Petitti and linebacker Jamar Williams. They'll be unrestricted free agents regardless of the results of the labor negotiations.

The Panthers on Wednesday also extended tenders to six exclusive-rights free agents who aren't eligible to negotiate with another team. They are defensive tackles Nick Hayden and Ed Johnson, linebacker Nic Harris, guard C.J. Davis, wide receiver Charly Martin and quarterback Keith Null.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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