Panthers use franchise tag on offensive tackle Taylor Moton

CHARLOTTE — The Carolina Panthers have placed the franchise tag on Taylor Moton while still hoping to work out a long-term extension with the fourth-year offensive tackle.

If no long-term deal is reached by July 15, Moton would make between $13 million and $14 million next season depending on the NFL salary cap — which has yet to be established — and would be eligible for free agency next year.

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The 6-foot-5, 325-pound Moton has started all 48 games at right tackle over the past three seasons while receiving high marks for his ability to protect the quarterback. He has allowed only 10 sacks in 2,071 pass-blocking snaps in his career and his 81.2 grade for 2020 was 13th among all tackles, according to Pro Football Focus. He allowed three sacks and committed two penalties last season.

The 26-year-old Moton was a second-round draft pick out of Western Michigan in 2017 by the Panthers.

Carolina is still looking for a left tackle, an area it could address in free agency or the draft. Center Matt Paradis is the only other offensive line starter from last season under contract, so there is plenty of work to be done.

Moton becomes the third offensive lineman in team history to get the franchise tag, joining left tackle Jordan Gross and center Ryan Kalil, both of whom went on to sign long-term deals with the team.