CHARLOTTE – Unrestricted free agent Matt Paradis, the Broncos’ starting center the past four seasons, has signed a three-year contract with the Panthers.
“Matt gives us an established starter at a critical position on the offensive line,” general manager Marty Hurney said. “He’s a smart, tough player with good feet, good instincts and a good feel for the position.”
A sixth-round draft out of Boise State in 2014, Paradis spent his rookie year on Denver’s practice squad but had been the Broncos’ starter when healthy ever since. He started every game from the start of the 2015 season – which ended with the Broncos beating the Panthers in Super Bowl 50 – until he suffered a broken fibula midway through last season.
Ryan Kalil, who has been the Panthers’ starting center since 2008, retired following the 2018 season with five Pro Bowl appearances to his credit.
Next up is Paradis, a 6-foot-3, 300-pounder who played eight-man football growing up in Idaho and evolved from a walk-on defensive lineman at Boise State into a two-time all-conference center. With the Broncos, he started 57 consecutive games and played every offensive snap from 2015 through his injury last season, though he still finished 2018 as the NFL’s second-rated center according to Pro Football Focus.