Carolina Panthers sign John Penisini, former Lions defensive tackle

The Carolina Panthers have made a surprising move in free agency by signing former Detroit Lions defensive tackle John Penisini.

The 25-year-old had announced his retirement last year after dealing with shoulder issues that required surgery. However, he apparently changed his mind and decided to give the NFL another shot.

Penisini was a sixth-round pick by the Lions in 2020 and started 12 games as a rookie. He recorded 35 tackles, a sack, and a fumble recovery in his first season.

He played in all 16 games in 2021, but saw his snaps reduced as he struggled to recover from his shoulder problems. He finished with 14 tackles and a pass defensed.

In June 2022, Penisini announced his retirement on social media, saying that he was grateful for his time in the league and that he wanted to focus on his health and family. The Lions placed him on the reserve/retired list and waived him in March 2023.

Penisini’s agent, David Canter, tweeted on Saturday that his client will be signing with the Panthers this week. He did not disclose the terms of the deal, but it is likely a low-risk, high-reward contract for Carolina.

The Panthers are looking to bolster their defensive line after losing Matthew Ioannidis in free agency. They re-signed Henry Anderson and added Shy Tuttle from the Saints on a three-year deal worth $19.5 million. They also have Derrick Brown and Bravvion Roy returning from last year’s squad.

Penisini will compete for a backup role behind Brown and Tuttle at nose tackle. He has shown some potential as a run-stuffer and could provide some depth and versatility for the Panthers’ defense. If he can stay healthy and regain his form from his rookie year, he could be a valuable addition for Carolina.

The Panthers are hoping that Penisini can revive his career and help them improve their run defense, which ranked 20th in the league last year. Penisini is taking a chance on himself and hoping to prove that he still belongs in the NFL.

Final Thoughts: John Penisini Signing with Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers have made a low-risk, high-reward move by signing John Penisini, who retired last year due to shoulder issues.

The 25-year-old defensive tackle showed promise as a rookie, starting 12 games for the Lions and recording 35 tackles, a sack, and a fumble recovery. However, his snaps were reduced in 2021 as he struggled with his shoulder problems.

Penisini’s retirement in June 2022 was a surprise, but he has apparently had a change of heart and decided to give the NFL another shot.

His signing with the Panthers is likely a chance for him to prove himself and revive his career. The Panthers are looking to bolster their defensive line after losing Matthew Ioannidis in free agency, and Penisini could provide some depth and versatility for their defense.

While Penisini will compete for a backup role behind Derrick Brown and Shy Tuttle at nose tackle, he could still be a valuable addition for the Panthers if he can stay healthy and regain his form from his rookie year.

His potential as a run-stuffer could help improve the Panthers’ run defense, which ranked 20th in the league last year.

Overall, the Panthers’ signing of Penisini is a low-risk move that could pay off if he can regain his form and stay healthy.

It’s a chance for him to prove himself in the NFL, and for the Panthers to add some depth to their defensive line. The upcoming season will reveal if this signing was a worthwhile gamble for the Panthers.