Gano signed a four-year contract Tuesday. The Panthers were expected to use the franchise tag on Gano, who converted at least 29 field goals each of the past four seasons and has an 81.7 percent success rate for his career. The team probably won't use its tag now that the 30-year-old is locked up for the long haul. Gano should continue as a serviceable but sub-elite fantasy option among kickers.
Gano is likely to receive the franchise tag from the Panthers, Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com reports. Gano is coming off a strong 2017, which saw him hit 29-of-30 field goals, with his only miss coming from more than 50 yards. He's been with the team for the past six seasons and the team can keep him around for a seventh year at $4.8 million by using the tag.
Gano converted 29 of 30 field-goal attempts and 34 of 37 extra-point tries en route to 121 points this season. Gano, the Panthers kicker since 2012, had to earn his roster spot this season, as the team used a seventh-round pick on Harrison Butker following a 2016 campaign that saw Gano miss 11 times in total. While Butker enjoyed an outstanding rookie year with the Chiefs after Gano beat him out early in the season, the 30-year-old proved just why Carolina stuck with him. Although Gano's 121 points matched his 2016 mark, he was nearly flawless on his kicking opportunities, with his only missed field goal coming from 50-plus yards. Such improved accuracy resulted in Gano finishing 12th in points league-wide, and would figure to give the Panthers plenty reason to re-sign him as an unrestricted free agent this offseason.
Gano made all three of his field-goal attempts (25, 28 and 30 yards) but missed one of his two extra-point tries in Sunday's 22-19 win over the Buccaneers. Gano's missed extra point marked just the fourth time he's missed on 65 total attempts this season. His 117 points on the campaign currently rank 12th league-wide.
Gano made a 33-yard field goal as well as all four of his extra-point tries in Sunday's 31-24 win over the Packers. Gano has notched seven points in back-to-back outings, while maintaining his record of just one missed field goal this season. That makes him a reliable kicking option in advance of next Sunday's game against the Buccaneers.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|5||10/07||New York Giants||21||7.88|
|9||11/04||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||7.50|
|13||12/02||@Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||7.50|
|15||12/18||New Orleans Saints||19||7.67|
|17||12/30||@New Orleans Saints||19||7.67|