Source: Center Paradis to sign with Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers checked several boxes on Tuesday by reaching an agreement on a three-year deal with former Denver Broncos center Matt Paradis to replace retired five-time Pro Bowl selection Ryan Kalil.

The deal is worth $27 million, a source told ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Coach Ron Rivera recently said at the NFL combine that protecting quarterback Cam Newton and providing a strong leader on the offensive line was a key offseason need.

He got that in the 29-year-old Paradis.

Paradis was one of the surest things in the league -- playing all 3,606 offensive snaps for the Denver Broncos since the start of the 2015 season -- until suffering a fractured fibula this past season. He had surgery to repair the fracture as well as some ligament damage, but both he and the Broncos, who wanted to keep the 29-year-old center, have consistently said he'd be ready for the 2019 season.

In addition to his durability, Paradis also is known for his toughness. His streak of consecutive snaps included the 2017 season, when Paradis played every snap after offseason surgery on both hips.

Paradis, a sixth-round pick (207th overall) in the 2014 draft, wasn't offering any discounts after waiting for free agency longer than many of his peers in that draft and performing at a higher level than most.

The Broncos somewhat inexplicably kept Paradis on the practice squad during his rookie season despite performing well enough in offseason workouts and training camp to deserve at least a backup spot on the 53-man roster.

Paradis is also one of the few players in the league who played eight-man football as a prep player. He was Idaho's 1A Player of the Year as a senior at Council High School and was switched to center from the defensive line just before the start of his sophomore year at Boise State.
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