The Facts: The Panthers are more likely to place their franchise tag on Gano, their kicker of six seasons whose four-year contract expired this year, than on guard Andrew Norwell, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported on Thursday.
Diehards Line:The tag number for a kicker hovered around $4.8 million in 2017 and has climbed each year since 2012. Gano averaged a $3.1 million salary under his expired deal. Teams don't often use their franchise tag on kickers. Gano would be just the fourth kicker to earn the distinction since 2012, when five kickers were handed the tag. Most recently, the Baltimore Ravens tagged two-time All-Pro kicker Justin Tucker in 2016; he signed a four-year deal soon after. The 30-year-old Gano isn't quite an All-Pro, but he is coming off a Pro Bowl season, his first, in which he connected on a league-best 96.7 percent of his field goal attempts.