As first reported on Monday afternoon by ESPN’s Adam Schefter, former Ohio State offensive lineman Pat Elflein has agreed to a three-year, $13.5 million contract with the Carolina Panthers.
The 26-year-old Elflein was selected in the third round of the 2017 NFL Draft by the Minnesota Vikings. He started 43 games at center or one of the guard spots for the Vikings, but suffered a thumb injury in the 2020 season opener that landed him on injured reserve.
Rookie Ezra Cleveland emerged as a viable starter at right guard while Elflein was sidelined, which prompted Minnesota to waive him on Nov. 14. He signed with the New York Jets just two days later and started the final six games of the season when starter Alex Lewis was placed on the non-football injury list.
The starting right guard on Ohio State’s 2014 national championship team and the 2016 Rimington Trophy winner as the nation’s best center, Elflein now replaces wide receiver and unrestricted free agent Curtis Samuel as the only former Ohio State player on Carolina’s roster.
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