Panthers agree to 4-year deal with former NC State Wolfpack lineman Ikem Ekwonu

Wednesday, May 11, 2022
'Like a movie': NC State's Ekwonu thrilled to be a Carolina Panther
It's a dream come true for NC State's "Icky" Ekwonu after being selected by the Carolina Panthers in the NFL Draft.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers have agreed to a four-year contract with first-round draft pick Ikem Ekwonu.

Ekwonu, the sixth overall pick, agreed to a four-year rookie contract with a team option for a fifth season Tuesday night. Financial terms of the deal were not released, but the offensive tackle from North Carolina State is slotted to receive around $27.6 million overall with a signing bonus in the range of $17.2 million, according to Spotrac.

The deal comes just days before the start of the team's rookie minicamp this weekend.

After being selected by the Panthers, Ekwonu shared his excitement to be playing for his hometown team.

"Being able to play on a team as you grew up being a fan that was really just you know, it's it's really just almost like a movie almost," Ekwonu said after being selected. "It's crazy."

He is projected to become the team's starting left tackle this season, filling a major hole on offense.

Ekwonu was raised in an athletic family. His father was a college standout in Nigeria, his mother was a high school track star and his twin brother, Osita, plays linebacker for Notre Dame.

One of Ekwonu's nicknames is the "Pancake King" because he flattens guys on the field. The Wolfpack hands out syrup bottles after games for every pancake block.

The Panthers have now agreed to terms with four of team's draft picks. They earlier reached deals with Amaré Barno, Kalon Barnes and Cade Mays.