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Panthers re-sign team sack leader Mario Addison to 3-year deal

The Carolina Panthers agreed to a three-year deal with defensive end Mario Addison on Sunday. The deal is worth $15 million for the first two years and a club option for a third, a source told ESPN's Dan Graziano.

On Monday, the Panthers re-signed another defensive player, reaching a two-year deal with defensive end Wes Horton.

"Mario has shown he is one of the best emerging pass rushers in the league and he deserves this contract," general manager Dave Gettleman told the team website of the Addison move. "He consistently affects the quarterback, and we envision an increased role for him in our defense. He's a pro in the way he approaches the game and brings an upbeat attitude to our locker room. We're thrilled he will continue his career with the Panthers."

Addison said he believes he can be an every-down end, but he will play whatever role the team wants.

"We met halfway in a good agreement that is a really fair deal for me,'' Addison said. "I made my name here. I came here in 2012 and worked my way up.''

Addison, 29, led the Panthers in sacks this past season with a career-high 9 1/2. He has 22 over the past three seasons, which also is ahead of Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short (20.5) for the team lead during that span.

Horton is known as a run-stopper, playing more on first and second down. He started 10 games this past season in 11 games after being released following training camp. He had 2.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Horton has 27 starts in 45 games over the past four seasons.

Re-signing him allows the Panthers to continue their rotation at one end spot with Addison.

The Panthers signed Addison off the Washington Redskins practice squad on Dec. 4, 2012. He entered the NFL as an undrafted rookie with Chicago in July 2011, but he was cut after playing only two games.

Addison was labeled a pass-rush specialist for much of his career at Carolina because he is somewhat undersized for a 4-3 end. He played more on run downs this past season, however, and coach Ron Rivera referred to him as a "complete" end even though he had only 26 tackles.

But Addison's ability to get to the quarterback is why he was re-signed.

"For a guy like me, the sky's the limit,'' Addison said. "I know a couple of tricks of the trade. I know what it takes to get to the quarterback.''

With Addison re-signed, locking down 2015 Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kawann Short with the franchise tag or a long-term deal is the next priority.

"KK is a good guy,'' Addison said. "I'm sure he's going to make the best decision.''

In 2014, when the Panthers gave Addison a two-year extension, he celebrated with a trip to Puerto Rico in which he almost drowned when he fell of a jet ski.

He's planning a trip to Germany to celebrate his new deal.

"No jet skis. No water,'' Addison said. "I'm not dealing with any water until I learn how to swim.''