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Panthers update: Moton gets franchise tag, ticket prices to rise

By Steve Reed

AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE — The Carolina Panthers have placed the franchise tag on Taylor Moton while still hoping to work out a long-term extension with the fourth-year offensive tackle.

If no long-term deal is reached by July 15, Moton would make between $13 million and $14 million next season depending on the NFL salary cap — which has yet to be established — and would be eligible for free agency next year.

The 6-foot-5, 325-pound Moton has started all 48 games at right tackle over the past three seasons while receiving high marks for his ability to protect the quarterback. He has allowed only 10 sacks in 2,071 pass-blocking snaps in his career and his 81.2 grade for 2020 was 13th among all tackles, according to Pro Football Focus. He allowed three sacks and committed two penalties last season.

The 26-year-old Moton was a second-round draft pick out of Western Michigan in 2017 by the Panthers.

Carolina is still looking for a left tackle, an area it could address in free agency or the draft. Center Matt Paradis is the only other offensive line starter from last season under contract, so there is plenty of work to be done.

Moton becomes the third offensive lineman in team history to get the franchise tag, joining left tackle Jordan Gross and center Ryan Kalil, both of whom went on to sign long-term deals with the team.

Average ticket price going up $3

It will cost some Carolina Panthers season ticket holders a little more to see a game next season.

The NFL team announced Tuesday that its average ticket price will rise to $107 per game, an increase of $3 per game.

Some seats in the lower bowl will increase by $5 to $15 per game, while some seats in the upper bowl will increase by $3. However, more than 56% of the stadium’s 33,000 non-premium seats will not see a ticket price increase, including 78% of those in the upper level.

Premium tickets, which include club seats and suites, will increase based on the terms in those contracts.

“We take a strategic and analytical approach to ticket pricing,” Panthers spokesman Ryan Anderson said. “We look at a variety of data points to determine the demand for each area of the building and how to price our tickets appropriately.”

Hedge fund billionaire David Tepper bought the Panthers in 2018 for a record $2.27 billion and has been actively trying to build a winning franchise.

He is in the process of building a new $500 million practice facility in nearby Rock Hill, South Carolina, has invested nearly $30 million in stadium and facility improvements in Charlotte, has built a practice bubble at the team’s existing practice facility and has shown a willingness pay free agents. He also spent $325 million to bring a Major League Soccer expansion franchise to Charlotte.

Tepper has also said he wants to build a new stadium in Charlotte within the next decade.

Fans with an existing ticket credit from the 2020 season will automatically be applied to the 2021 season ticket invoice.

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