AP source: Panthers bolster defense on Day 1 of free agency, lose Samuel

CHARLOTTE — The Carolina Panthers shifted their focus to upgrading their defense on the first day of the league year, agreeing to terms with linebackers Haason Reddick and Denzel Perryman and defensive end Morgan Fox, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the moves have not yet been announced.

The 6-foot-1, 255-pound Reddick played under Panthers coach Matt Rhule at Temple and could project as an edge rusher after four seasons with the Cardinals. The 13th overall pick in the 2017 draft is coming off a breakout season in 2020 in which he had 12 1/2 sacks along with six forced fumbles and 15 tackles for a loss. In his first three seasons Reddick had a combined 7 1/2 sacks.

He joins a Carolina team that had just 29 sacks last season, nine of those coming from defensive end Brian Burns.

The 5-foot-11, 240-pound Perryman has started 51 games over the past six seasons with the Chargers, getting 349 tackles, five sacks and three interceptions and three forced fumbles. Known as a run stuffer, he started 13 games last season and had 48 tackles.

Fox is yet another player who will leave the West Coast to join the Panthers.

The 6-foot-3, 275-pound defensive end played all four seasons with the Rams and had 69 tackles and 10 1/2 sacks during his NFL career.

The Panthers also announced they have re-signed long-snapper J.J. Jansen. He has played in 192 career games, second most in Panthers history.

AP source: Washington agrees to sign receiver Curtis Samuel

Washington has filled an important void at wide receiver after coming to terms with a quarterback and cornerback.

Receiver Curtis Samuel has agreed to sign with Washington, a person with knowledge of the move tells The Associated Press.

Samuel gives Washington a No. 2 wide receiver behind Terry McLaurin. The 24-year-old shined in Carolina’s victory at Washington last season, setting career highs with 106 yards receiving and 52 yards rushing.

The 2017 second-round pick has 185 catches for 2,087 yards and 14 touchdown catches.

Samuel has also rushed for 478 yards and five TDs in 53 NFL games.