Panthers find run-stopper in Poe

Dec 10 2017 Tampa FL USA Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Doug Martin is introduced as he runs out of the tunnel prior to the game at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers signed defensive tackle Dontari Poe, formerly of the Atlanta Falcons, to a 3-year, $27 million contract, reports Kimberley A. Martin of the Washington Post. Poe is coming off a one-year pit stop in Atlanta, where he remained hard to handle in the middle of the defense. Poe replaces Star Lotulelei, who left the team in free agency to sign with the Buffalo Bills.

Starting all 16 games for the Falcons past year, Poe proved himself enough to get a new contract and likely a long-term deal from the Panthers. For his career, Poe has 15 1/2 career sacks, 240 tackles and 2 forced fumbles while playing in 92 of 94 games.

Despite flashing encouraging chemistry with Jarrett, Poe sought out a new opportunity in Carolina.

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The 27-year-old Poe played five seasons for the Kansas City Chiefs and went to two Pro Bowls after being selected with the 11th overall pick in the National Football League draft in 2012. Turning 28 in September, Poe remains a solid run defender.

The interior gap-clogger proved to be a quality addition alongside Grady Jarrett, and he finished the year with 39 total tackles, 2.5 sacks and a pair of pass breakups to help the Falcons finish with the league's ninth-ranked run defense.

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