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Panthers' Taylor Moton Given Franchise Tag Ahead of 2021 Deadline

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured Columnist

Carolina Panthers offensive tackle Taylor Moton (72) during the second half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020, in Kansas City, Mo. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)
Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

The Carolina Panthers officially placed the franchise tag on offensive tackle Taylor Moton on Tuesday.

The one-year designation will pay Moton between $13 million and $14 million, though the exact figure has yet to be determined.

NFL Network's Ian Rapoport (h/t Kevin Patra of NFL.com) reported on March 5 it was likely Moton would be given the franchise tag.  At the time, Rapoport noted the Panthers and Moton's representatives would continue to negotiate a long-term deal but the tag would be used if they were unable to reach an agreement.

The expectation since the season ended is that the Panthers would use their franchise tag to keep the 26-year-old. 

It's unclear what a long-term deal for Moton might look like. Kevin Cole of Pro Football Focus estimates that he could be in line for a contract worth around $16 million per season after posting three consecutive seasons in the top 12 of wins above replacement among tackles. 

Spotrac projects the Panthers will have $37.16 million in cap space, assuming a $185 million salary cap. 

Moton has emerged as an essential piece of Carolina's offensive line since being selected in the second round of the 2017 draft. The Western Michigan product has appeared in all 64 regular-season games over the past four seasons, including 48 straight starts since 2018. 

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