Carolina Panthers

Panthers signs tackle Gross, free agent Holt to deals

CHARLOTTE -- The Carolina Panthers signed a pair of contracts Thursday, one significantly bigger and more important than the other.

Tackle Jordan Gross, the team's franchise player, signed his one-year tender offer today. The move guarantees his salary of $7.455 million for the coming year. He was given the franchise tag in February, keeping him out of the free agent market.

The Panthers still have until mid-July to work out a long-term deal with Gross, which would be the ultimate preference of all sides. The Panthers would lower their salary cap responsibility considerably, while Gross could pocket more guaranteed money.

According to sources with knowledge of the situation, Gross has been around Bank of America Stadium all week, taking part in the offseason conditioning program.

They also added another experienced safety to the mix, albeit one whose most recent experience was bad. Former N.C. State standout Terrence Holt signed a one-year dea to add depth to a thun position. Terms were undisclosed, and Holt's agent didn't return phone messages.

That wasn't the case at Holt's last stop. Arizona signed him to a five-year, $15 million deal a year ago, but cut him abruptly a month ago after paying him $4 million for a single season. The deal included no signing bonus at the time (meaning the Cardinals took no cap hit for cutting him), rather paying him a $2 million roster bonus and a $2 million salary last year.

The 28-year-old Holt (the younger brother of St. Louis wide receiver Torry Holt) could provide some veteran competition at a spot where the Panthers had just untested kids. Barring such an addition, the Panthers might have had Quinton Teal and Nate Salley battling for the free safety job.