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Panthers sign Carter to be kickoff specialist

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers have signed kicker Todd Carter to take over the team's vacant kickoff specialist role.

Carter played at Grand Valley State from 2005-08 and converted 27 of 41 field goal attempts while also kicking off. He didn't play in the NFL last season.

Carter will likely replace Rhys Lloyd, who led the NFL in touchbacks with 30 in 2008 and had 21 last season.

The Panthers decided not to give Lloyd a restricted free-agent tender of $1.1 million, and he signed with Minnesota. Carter will play for the rookie minimum of $325,000 after signing his deal Tuesday.

The Panthers have used a kickoff specialist the past two seasons after aging place-kicker John Kasay struggled in that role.