CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The Panthers have decided to place the franchise tag on tackle Jordan Gross. The move prevents Gross from becoming an unrestricted free agent and all but assures he'll will remain in Carolina next season.
General manager Marty Hurney said the move will become official Wednesday. The Panthers will offer Gross a one-year contract for about $7.5 million, which is the average salary of the top five highest-paid offensive linemen in the NFL.
While another team can still offer Gross a contract, the Panthers can now match any offer. If they don't, the team that takes Gross would have to give up two first-round picks to the Panthers in return.