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NFL Free Agency 2018: Panthers likely to keep PK Graham Gano away from Giants

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Carolina expected to tag Gano if no long-term deal is reached

Carolina Panthers v New England Patriots Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images

If the New York Giants want a veteran placekicker to replace Aldrick Rosas, it appears they are going to have to scratch Graham Gano off their list of possibilities. The Carolina Panthers are expected to use the franchise tag on Gano if they can’t reach a long-term deal by Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline to apply the tag.

The 2017 season was easily the best of the 30-year-old Gano’s career. He was the NFL’s most accurate kicker, making 29-of-30 fields (96.7 percent). His only miss of the season came from beyond 50 yards. Gano did miss three of 35 extra points, making 91.9 percent of those.

Rosas made only 18-of-25 field goals. His 72 percent accuracy ranked 37th among 41 qualifying kickers. Rosas’s 87 percent accuracy on extra points (20-of-23) was 38th among 44 qualifying kickers. Only 26 of Rosas’ 62 kickoffs (41.9 percent) went for touchbacks.

The Giants did sign placekicker Marshall Koehn to a reserve/futures contract. Koehn kicked in one game for the Cincinnati Bengals last season, converting his only extra-point attempt.

Free-agent placekickers who could be on the market include Sebastian Janikowski, Caleb Sturgis, Cody Parkey, Cairo Santos, and Kai Forbath.

The good news here is that if the Panthers tag Gano, that means they won’t put the tag on coveted All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell. He, of course, seems to be the center-piece to the Giants’ plan to rebuild the offensive line.