Panthers sign kicker to compete against Mare

Posted Dec. 14, 2011 @ 12:06 p.m.
Posted By PFW staff

With Olindo Mare struggling, the Panthers added some competition for him Tuesday.

Carolina signed PK Adi Kunalic, who spent time with the team in training camp. The Panthers placed LB Jason Phillips (calf) on injured reserve to clear a roster spot for Kunalic, an undrafted rookie from Nebraska.

Mare signed a four-year, $12 million deal with $4 million guaranteed before the season, replacing longtime Panther John Kasay, but Mare has had accuracy issues. He's made only 19 of his 25 field-goal attempts, and missed a 36-yarder, which could have given the Panthers a two-point lead with 5:12 left in the fourth quarter Sunday against the Falcons. He also missed 31-yard attempt in Week Eight, when the Panthers lost to the Vikings, 24-21.

The way we see it

The Panthers aren't expected to cut ties with Mare before Sunday's game against the Texans, but head coach Ron Rivera is running out of patience with his young team and he's clearly grown tired of mistakes by Mare, a 38-year-old 15th-year veteran. It's not clear who will handle placekicking duties for the Panthers against Houston.