AP source: Panthers bolster defence on Day 1 of free agency

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers shifted their focus to upgrading their defence on the first day of the league year, agreeing to terms with linebackers Haason Reddick and Denzel Perryman and defensive end Morgan Fox, according to a person familiar with the situation.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because the moves have not yet been announced.

The 6-foot-1, 255-pound Reddick played under Panthers coach Matt Rhule at Temple and could project as an edge rusher after four seasons with the Cardinals. The 13th overall pick in the 2017 draft is coming off a breakout season in 2020 in which he had 12 1/2 sacks along with six forced fumbles and 15 tackles for a loss. In his first three seasons Reddick had a combined 7 1/2 sacks.

He joins a Carolina team that had just 29 sacks last season, nine of those coming from defensive end Brian Burns.

The 5-foot-11, 240-pound Perryman has started 51 games over the past six seasons with the Chargers, getting 349 tackles, five sacks and three interceptions and three forced fumbles. Known as a run stuffer, he started 13 games last season and had 48 tackles.

Fox is yet another player who will leave the West Coast to join the Panthers.

The 6-foot-3, 275-pound defensive end played all four seasons with the Rams and had 69 tackles and 10 1/2 sacks during his NFL career.

The Panthers also announced they have re-signed long-snapper J.J. Jansen. He has played in 192 career games, second most in Panthers history.

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Steve Reed, The Associated Press