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Jordan Gross Confirms Panthers Contract

Feb 19, 2009 – 1:30 PM
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Will Brinson

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Jordan Gross has officially signed a six-year deal to remain a Carolina Panther, one that will make him not only one of the highest-paid offensive lineman in the NFL but the highest-paid Panther of all time, according to a statement he made today to the Rock Hill Herald.

Gross seemed relieved that the deal -- which took a year of negotiations to complete -- was finalized, and acknowledged that he probably could have made more on the open market.
We're done," he said with a sigh. "I signed it about 10 minutes ago, and I'm glad to be through with it."

[...]"It was tough, because they had a number they wanted to stay within," Gross said. "But if I go into the (free agent) market, the sky would have been the limit.

"I took a cut to stay here, but it was important for me to be in a place I wanted to be, and to make sure we were able to have a competitive team."
The move is huge for the Panthers, in the first part because they lock up an All-Pro offensive lineman at left tackle. And, of course, secondarily because now they can apply the franchise tag to disgruntled defensive end Julius Peppers before the deadline to do so today at 4 PM.

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