• 66°

South Carolina tries to get new Panthers practice facilty

NFL roundup

FILE – In this Aug. 30, 2018, file photo, Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper walks in the field during before an NFL football game against the Pittsburgh Steelers in Pittsburgh. South Carolina lawmakers will try to pass a bill making football players full-time workers under state law so the Panthers could get t tax credits. (AP Photo/Don Wright, File)

By Jeffrey Collins

Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina wants the Carolina Panthers to move their practice facility into their state’s suburbs. But there is at least one big hurdle — football players don’t practice enough hours to be considered full-time employees in the state, so South Carolina can’t offer the Panthers tax credits and other incentives.

Gov. Henry McMaster and legislative leaders said Wednesday they will push for a bill to exempt football players from the rule.

McMaster and a number of top state officials and lawmakers met with Panthers owner David Tepper at the South Carolina Governor’s Mansion and Tepper said he was very interested in what South Carolina had to offer, McMaster said.

No deal was finalized.

Tepper has said since buying the team last summer that a new indoor practice facility is a priority. The Panthers currently practice outside near Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina, and had to move several late-season practices to a ballroom because of rain.

Several South Carolina lawmakers spoke as if the proposal to move the practice facility and team offices to a new complex that could include a sports medicine center, restaurants and hotels was a done deal.

“The Carolina Panthers will truly be one team, two states,” South Carolina House Speaker Jay Lucas said, repeating the team’s motto when it first started playing in 1995.

But Tepper was not at the news conference Lucas, McMaster and other officials held at the capitol after the meeting. The team didn’t have any immediate comment on its plans.

It also wasn’t clear whether Charlotte or North Carolina might make a counteroffer to keep the facility and offices.

“We’re not concerned about that. We are thinking about South Carolina,” McMaster said. “We know we can outrun anyone on the field.”

The new facility would bring 150 jobs — including coaches, players, marketing staff, team executives and others, McMaster said.

The state and Tepper have not settled on any potential site, considering areas in York County and Lancaster County, all about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Bank of America Stadium.

•••

THOMAS DAVIS FINDS NEW HOME WITH CHARGERS

COSTA MESA, Calif. (AP) — The Los Angeles Chargers didn’t have many glaring offseason needs but upgrading the linebacking unit was at the top of the list.

They took a step toward doing that Wednesday as the NFL’s free agency period began, signing Thomas Davis to a two-year contact. The team also signed quarterback Tyrod Taylor and re-signed defensive tackle Brandon Mebane to two-year deals.

Davis comes to the Chargers after spending his entire 14-year career with Carolina, where he was the Panthers’ career leader in tackles (1,077). He will enter the season second among active NFL players in tackles.

Davis finished second last season with 79 tackles in 12 games. He missed the first four games while under suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing supplements.

Davis’ addition gives the Chargers experience and an effective run stopper. Denzel Perryman, Jatavis Brown and Kyzir White combined to start 25 games but ended up on injured reserve. Perryman, who led the team in tackles at the time of his injury, was the team’s most effective run stopper the first half of the season. He was due to become a free agent but re-signed with the team on March 9.

The Chargers struggled to stop the run late last season. They contained Baltimore in the AFC wild-card round by going with eight defensive backs but allowed 155 yards in a loss to New England in the divisional round.

Taylor gives the Chargers an experienced backup to Rivers, who has started 208 consecutive games and is tied with Peyton Manning for the third-longest streak in NFL history by a QB.

Comments

Crime

One arrested, another hospitalized in Castor Road stabbing

China Grove

China Grove Roller Mill open for tours Saturday

News

Facing personnel deficiencies, local fire departments request tax rate increases

Local

‘Panic buying’ creates gas supply shortages locally, statewide after pipeline cyberattack

Business

Twice as nice: Planet Smoothie opens alongside Cold Stone Creamery in co-branded store

Local

Spencer board gets update on South Iredell rat problem

Education

West Rowan teacher awarded $15,000 outdoor learning grant

Cleveland

Town of Cleveland plans celebration May 22

High School

High school girls tennis: Busy Hornets win again easily

High School

High school softball: Nixon, Walton top all-county team

Education

All Hood Alumni and Friends Symposium scheduled June 18

Education

Shoutouts: Southern City Church awards educational gifts

Local

City to pave streets surrounding Bell Tower Green after park is constructed

Nation/World

Colonial Pipeline restarts operations days after major hack

Nation/World

Ohio’s million-dollar idea: Lottery prizes for vaccinations

Nation/World

GOP dumps defiant Trump critic Cheney from top House post

Nation/World

Israel steps up Gaza offensive, kills senior Hamas figures

Coronavirus

Fluctuating COVID-19 death number back to 302 in Rowan County

Crime

Habitual felon sentenced to at least 8 years in prison

Kannapolis

City of Kannapolis to have bike rodeo Saturday

Crime

Two more charged for operating illegal gambling businesses

Education

A.L. Brown celebrates seniors with signing day

Business

Rebounding, but not recovered: Rowan County tourism begins challenging path toward normalcy

High School

High school baseball: Padgett leads Mustangs; 100th win for West coach Graham