The Carolina Panthers announced the signing of offensive lineman Travelle Wharton on Sunday night, bolstering the right guard spot with the addition of the free agent veteran.
Wharton was originally the Panthers' third round choice in the 2004 NFL Draft, and played his first eight NFL seasons with the team. His only pro experience away from Carolina was last year when he left via free agency to join the Cincinnati Bengals, but an unfortunate injury ended his season early.
Wharton was one of the better guards available in the open market, a position the Panthers have been unable to solve. Wharton had previously visited the team, and by all accounts, it's a good marriage of team needs and familiarity.
Despite their needs at guard, Cat Scratch Reader believes Wharton could be insurance for the entire line:
Wharton played for the Panthers for the first seven years of his career, so Panthers fans are aware of what he's capable of doing on the field. He brings much needed versatility to the offensive line as he can play either guard or tackle, and while it's unknown which position he will play at this time we do know that he should be able to step in and improve an offensive line that has struggled mightily so far in the preseason.
Wharton could help hold down the fort for a while, but the team hopes rookie offensive lineman Edmund Kugbila will be ready to take over soon enough.