Former Washington defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis agrees to one-year deal with Carolina Panthers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Former Washington defensive tackle Matt Ioannidis, just over a week after his agent ripped the Commanders for releasing him, found a new home Friday with familiar faces.

Ioannidis, 28, agreed to a one-year deal to play for the Carolina Panthers and coach Matt Rhule, who coached the 6-foot-3, 310-pounder at Temple. He'll also be reunited with Phil Snow, his defensive coordinator with the Owls.

Alan Herman, Ioannidis' agent, told ESPN last week that Washington senior president of football administration Rob Rogers informed him the team wasn't going to release him. Herman's words were even stronger in an interview with the Associated Press.

"We don't particularly care to be lied to our face," Herman said. "That's not the way you conduct business in the National Football League.''

The decision to release Ioannidis, as well as veteran guard Ereck Flowers and safety Deshazor Everett, came after Washington traded for quarterback Carson Wentz and his $28 million salary-cap hit. The moves created $18.9 million in cap space.

"When someone tells you two weeks ago that he's solid as a rock, would it take you by surprise?" Herman told ESPN. "Give us a heads-up; free agency is coming and we want to make sure the player lands on his feet.''

Ioannidis more than landed on his feet. After seeing his sack totals drop from a combined 16 in 2018-19 to four in 2020-21 under former Carolina coach Ron Rivera, he returns to a system that made him a fifth-round pick in 2016. Ioannidis had 30 tackles for loss and 10 sacks his last three seasons at Temple under Snow.

The Panthers will use Ioannidis as a veteran pass rush specialist beside 2020 first-round pick Derrick Brown, more of a run stuffer. Herman told ESPN last week that five teams called within the first hour of Ioannidis' release.

Carolina's deal with Ioannidis was the first after the team learned Thursday night that it was out of the running for Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson.

Meanwhile, the Panthers also agreed to a one-year deal with former Baltimore Ravens center Bradley Bozeman on Friday.

Bozeman, in his first season as a starting center in the NFL, was among the most consistent blockers for a Ravens' offensive line that struggled last season.

Overall, he ranked 11th at the position by Pro Football Focus and he finished second among centers in ESPN's pass block win rate, which measures whether a lineman can sustain a block for 2.5 seconds or longer.

A sixth-round pick in 2018, Bozeman started at left guard in 2019 and 2020 before moving last season to center, where he played collegiately at Alabama.

ESPN's Jamison Hensley contributed to this report.