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Panthers release kicker Medlock, sign Gano

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Associated Press
11/20/2012 9:05:58 PM
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers made yet another change at kicker.

The Panthers on Tuesday waived the slumping Justin Medlock and replaced him with Graham Gano.

Carolina (2-8) signed Gano, a free agent, to a two-year deal after Medlock missed his last three field goals.

Gano spent 2009-11 with the Washington Redskins, playing in 36 games and converting 59 of 80 field goal attempts (73.8 per cent) with a long of 59 yards.

Gano entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie free agent with Baltimore in 2009 before being released by the Ravens.

Medlock started the season 7 of 7 before having a kick blocked against Washington. He then missed field goals against Denver and Tampa Bay. Medlock's second-quarter miss from 40 yards on Sunday against the Bucs would have put the Panthers up 17-10.

Carolina lost to Tampa Bay 27-21 in overtime.

The Panthers worked out Gano and veteran Nate Kaeding, according to interim general manager Brandon Beane. Kaeding is coming off a groin injury and is eligible for free agency after the season and that may have played a role in the decision to go with Gano.

"I thought Gano was the best thing for us long term, not just for the next six weeks," Beane said.

As for the decision to waive Medlock, "It's a production based business and we gave Justin an opportunity. He tried his best. He's a good person but unfortunately the results weren't what we were looking for. We decided to explore a couple of guys out there. Both Gano and Kaeding kicked great and it was a tough decision."

Medlock beat out Olindo Mare in training camp to win the kicking job despite having attempted only two field goals in his career. He made a living kicking in the Canadian Football League before landing the starting job with the Panthers.

Justin Medlock (Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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