The Carolina Panthers have signed unrestricted free agent tackle Matt Kalil to a five-year contract, the team announced Friday.
“We went through a lengthy evaluation process, including exhaustive film study, and Matt’s got everything we’re looking for at the left tackle position,” general manager Dave Gettleman said. “Matt’s an all-around great player with ability as a run blocker and pass protector. He can play with power and aggressiveness and he has the toughness and competitiveness we expect from our offensive linemen. He will work with a great duo of offensive line coaches in John Matsko and Ray Brown who I know will maximize his talents. We’re just really excited about being able to add him.”
The fourth overall draft choice in 2012 by the Minnesota Vikings, Kalil earned Pro Bowl and All-Rookie honors in his first season after opening running lanes for Adrian Peterson produce the second-best rushing season in NFL history with 2,097 yards en route to earning MVP honors. In 2013, Kalil’s blocking efforts helped the Vikings rank eighth in the NFL in rushing and lead the NFL with 23 rushing touchdowns. In 2015, Kalil started all 16 games for the fourth consecutive season and cleared the way for Peterson to lead the NFL with 1,485 rushing yards as the Vikings won the NFC North.
Last season, Kalil, 6-7 and 320 pounds, started two games before being placed on injured reserve with a hip injury. Prior to being placed on IR, Kalil had not missed an NFL game in his career with 66 consecutive regular season starts and two in the playoffs.