Panthers ink deals with eight players

daringantt@carolina.rr.comJanuary 14, 2009 

CHARLOTTE -- The Carolina Panthers began their offseason moves by signing eight players to future contracts, which will begin at the start of the next league year on Feb. 27.

Six of the players they signed Tuesday finished the year on their practice squad: Running back DeCori Birmingham, wide receiver Kevin McMahan, tackle Jonathan Palmer, defensive end Casper Brinkley, defensive tackle Lorenzo Williams and safety Joe Fields.

They also signed linebacker Jeremy Leman and defensive tackle/long snapper Patrick MacDonald.

Leman, from Illinois, was in camp with Minnesota last season.

MacDonald, from the University of Alberta, was in camp with New Orleans last year, and has also played for the Calgary Stampeders. At 6-foot-2, 265 pounds, he is probably being brought in as a special teamer.

The Panthers also are expected to bring back tackle Geoff Schwartz, one of their seventh-round picks from last year who also spent the season on the practice squad.

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