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Carolina Panthers place franchise tag on offensive tackle Taylor Moton ahead of deadline

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Bob Donnan / USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers have locked in starting right tackle Taylor Moton for the 2021 season. According to CBS Sports NFL Insider Jonathan Jones, the club placed the franchise tag on Moton leading up to Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline. This move now negates the 26-year-old from hitting the open market this offseason and the tag is expected to pay him between $13.5 and $14 million. 

Placing the tag on Moton was expected by Carolina and the club now has the flexibility to exclusively negotiate a long-term contract with him until the summer. This tag could be looked at as a placeholder until something more substantial is agreed upon or the team could simply elect to have Moton play out the 2021 season on the tag and kick any potential decisions regarding his future with the organization to next year.  

Had Moton hit the open market next week, he was looking at the possibility of landing a lucrative deal. Spotrac had a projected market value for Moton that had him eyeing a contract that would pay him around $14.7 million annually. While that’s essentially in the ballpark of the franchise tag, he’ll likely need to wait a bit longer to gain security beyond 2021. 

Moton just finished up his fourth season with the Panthers after the club selected him in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Western Michigan. To this point, the 6-foot-5, 325 pounder has proven to be a rather durable piece to the Panthers O-line. He’s never missed a game in his career and has made 48 consecutive starts. On top of that durability, Moton has brought strong play. According to Pro Football Focus, Moton has only allowed 10 sacks in 2,071 pass-blocking snaps in his career. His 81.2 PFF grade for 2020 was also 13th among all tackles. 

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