Jan 12, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Carolina Panthers guard Nate Chandler (78) reacts after the 2013 NFC divisional playoff football game against the San Francisco 49ers at Bank of America Stadium. San Francisco won 23-10. Mandatory Credit: Sam Sharpe-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers sign OL Nate Chandler to four-year contract extension

Offensive lineman Nate Chandler will be sticking around in Carolina for awhile, by all indications. ESPN’s Adam Schefter is reporting that the Panthers will give the former UDFA a four-year contract extension.

The 22-year-old Chandler had been set to make $570,000 in 2014, the final year of a three-year deal he signed in 2012. Chandler, a converted tight end, split time between guard and tackle in 2013 and was expected to lock down a starting tackle spot this season.

The contract extension pretty much guarantees that Chandler will be starting at either right or left tackle for the Panthers in 2014. He and Byron Bell have been sharing time at both positions during OTAs as the coaching staff tries to work out who fits where.

Not bad for a guy who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent tight end out of Iowa, converted to defensive tackle and then converted to offensive line. All that hard work is now paying off for Nate Chandler in a big way.

If he locks down the job protecting Cam Newton’s blind side, he could put himself in line for an even bigger pay day down the road. Left tackles get paid in this world.

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Tags: Carolina Panthers