When cleared, Paradis will be an anchor point on an offensive line that said goodbye to retiring longtime center Ryan Kalil after the 2018 season.
The move also has NFL draft implications.
Paradis, if cleared to play by June, will be Carolina’s starter with backup Tyler Larsen retaining his role or perhaps sliding over to left guard.
Many NFL draft analysts considered North Carolina State center Garrett Bradbury to be a prime fit for the Panthers with the No. 16 pick this April.
But Paradis’ signing means the Panthers can use their first-round pick for some much-needed help along the defensive line, or even at left tackle, where the health and status of starter Matt Kalil remains unclear.
Top prospects at tackle in this year’s draft class are Washington State’s Andre Dillard and Alabama’s Jonah Williams.
Tackle has become a position the Panthers need to address this spring, with former starting right tackle Daryl Williams about to test the free agent market in hopes of a high-dollar long-term deal, according to a league source.
The terms of Paradis’ deal make it especially unlikely that the Panthers are fiscally able to bring Williams back, as they enter free agency on Wednesday with about $15 million in salary cap space.
Williams, 26, spent most of the 2018 season on injured reserve after suffering a knee injury in the first week of the season. He also injured his knee a month earlier in training camp. After undergoing surgery, Williams is expected to be able to play in 2019.
Without him, the Panthers will start third-year player Taylor Moton at right tackle this season but still must address depth at both left and right tackle in the coming months.