Panthers sign 3 players to long-term contracts

Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Three valuable rotational players will remain with the team for a while.

The Carolina Panthers announced the extension of three players on Wednesday with Nate Chandler, Mario Addison and Colin Jones earning new contracts.

Chandler signed a three-year deal and is expected to compete for the starting left tackle position in training camp. He's a player who hasn't shined often, but proved to be a reliable rotational player with enough flashes to impress when needed. In many ways he's the new version of Geoff Schwartz, who filled a similar role for the Panthers when he was drafted in 2008.

It's unclear if he has enough talent since transitioning to tackle to be a long-term answer, but given the number of changes on the offensive line he's a player worth keeping.

Addison and Jones also earned new deals. Both have been signed to two-year extensions, though they find themselves in different situations.

Addison has been an excellent rotational defensive end who has starting potential with more development. Given the tenuous position of Greg Hardy there's a possibility he could be groomed into a starter, or at least compete against 2014 second round pick Kony Ealy in 2015. This year he'll retain his role as a third down pass rushing specialist, but general manage Dave Gettleman sees promise.

Said Gettleman: "Mario is a legitimate pass-rusher. He is definitely what we're looking for in our defensive ends."

The trio is rounded out by Colin Jones. An oft-forgotten but extremely valuable special teams player and depth safety. His position this season will be vital after Jordan Senn left via free agency. This is the year for Jones to take on more of a leadership role to match his already stellar play on the field.

Ultimately all three are solid signings which most importantly give the team options -- something they haven't had while being cash-strapped.

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