The Carolina Panthers signed Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil to a two-year contract extension on Monday that ties him to the team through the 2018 season.

Before signing the new extension, he was set to enter the final season of the six-year, $49 million extension he signed with the team in 2011.

“I think it’s something that a lot of guys start thinking about toward the end of their career, where they’re gonna finish,” Kalil said in a conference call. “And for this organization to give me that opportunity to finish my career here means the world to me. And I couldn’t imagine finishing my career in a better place than this franchise.”

When the Panthers decided to rescind their franchise tender on cornerback Josh Norman, general manager Dave Gettleman said the team did so in part to gain salary-cap flexibility to re-sign other players on the team. Besides Kalil, defensive tackle Kawann Short also is a candidate to receive an extension.

“Ryan is still playing at an extremely high level and was very deservedly an All-Pro again in 2015,” Gettleman said in a statement. “The other part of this is that Ryan is a great leader. In 2014, he was instrumental in keeping that offensive line group together. That group had a lot of young players and there were moving parts because of injuries, but Ryan helped them maintain their confidence, and that was a big part of us winning five of our last six games. On and off the field, Ryan is a pro’s pro, and we’re all very excited about this.”

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