NFL Wire News

Panthers pick up fifth-year option on LB Kuechly


The Sports Xchange

The Carolina Panthers officially exercised the fifth-year option on linebacker Luke Kuechly’s rookie contract.

Kuechly is now under contract through the 2016 season, the team announced Saturday.

Kuechly, the ninth overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, has led the league in tackles in two of his three seasons. Kuechly was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2013 and NFL Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2012. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in the past two seasons.

Kuechly has started all 48 games since entering the league out of Boston College. He had an NFL-best 153 tackles last season, along with three sacks, and has totaled 473 tackles through his first three seasons — 44 more than any other NFL player over the same time frame. He has six career sacks and seven interceptions.

Kuechly received a four-year deal worth a guaranteed $12.6 million under the rookie wage scale. He will now be due $11.1 million for 2016.

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