Dontari Poe, Panthers Reportedly Agree to Contract

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistMarch 15, 2018

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 20: Dontari Poe #92 of the Atlanta Falcons in action during a preseason game against the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on August 20, 2017 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
Joe Robbins/Getty Images

Free-agent defensive tackle Dontari Poe and the Carolina Panthers reportedly agreed to terms on a contract Thursday.

Kimberley A. Martin of the Washington Post reported that the Washington Redskins were also interested before Poe chose Carolina. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the three-year contract is worth between $9 and $10 million per season. 

After spending the first five years of his career with the Kansas City Chiefs, Poe bolted for the Atlanta Falcons on a one-year contract for the 2017 season. 

The interior gap-clogger proved to be a quality addition alongside Grady Jarrett, and he finished the year with 39 total tackles, 2.5 sacks and a pair of pass breakups to help the Falcons finish with the league's ninth-ranked run defense. 

"Having those big guys up there kicking butt every plays really helps on the second level," linebacker Deion Jones said of Poe and Jarrett, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's Matt Winkeljohn. "... I feel like having two guys that can really get off and do as they want on the line, I feel like watching them kick butt on the line is crazy, man."

Despite flashing encouraging chemistry with Jarrett, Poe sought out a new opportunity in Carolina.

With the Panthers, he figures to assume his familiar role as an early-down mauler and gap penetrator who can help maintain their dominant run defense after they ranked third in the NFL with 88.1 rushing yards allowed per game last season.

Carolina had an opening at defensive tackle after Star Lotulelei signed a five-year deal with the Buffalo Bills, and Poe figures to be an ideal complement to Kawann Short on the Panthers' defensive line.

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