Charlotte, N.C.--The Carolina Panthers have signed kicker Graham Gano to a four-year contract before free agency, the team announced Friday.
"The special teams unit was a large part of our success last year and we are excited to keep Graham as a part of our team," Panthers head coach Ron Rivera said. "Graham has shown range and accuracy in his field goal kicking, and his strong leg has been a weapon for us on kickoffs."
In 2013, Gano played in all 16 games for Carolina, converting 24-of-27 field goal attempts to establish a career high with an 88.9 field goal percentage. Gano set a franchise record and tied for the NFL lead for the most made field goals of 50 yards or more with six. He was the only kicker in the NFL with more than three attempts from 50-plus yards without a miss from that distance. Gano placed 76-of-82 kickoffs in the end zone with 63 touchbacks to lead the NFL with a 77.8 touchback percentage, the highest touchback percentage in the NFL since 1994.
Gano joined the Panthers in 2012, playing in the final six games of the season. In 22 games with Carolina, Gano has converted 33-of-38 field goal attempts, including 7-of-8 from 50-plus yards.
A veteran of five NFL seasons, the first three with the Washington Redskins, Gano has converted 92-of-118 field goal attempts in his career. In 2010 with Washington, he tied the NFL record for the most overtime field goals in a season with three, previously accomplished by John Kasay for Carolina in 2003 and Jason Hanson for Detroit in 1994.