4 best undrafted free agents ever signed by the Carolina Panthers

(Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) Andrew Norwell
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(PAUL BUCK/AFP via Getty Images) Fred Lane /

. . Fred Lane. 4. player. 87.

Fred Lane – Former Carolina Panthers RB

Fred Lane grew up in Tennessee and elected to play football at Lane College close to home. This led to an outstanding career at a modest level, with the running back tallying 3,612 rushing yards.

Lane went on to go undrafted in the 1997 NFL Draft. Some factors that could be contributed to him not being selected were that he didn’t play any real top competition and he also got injured in his final season.

The Carolina Panthers brought in Lane for training camp initially just as a practice body. But at Fan Fest that summer, he made sure that every person in attendance knew who he was by breaking off huge runs.

After training camp, he remained with the team and due to an injury suffered by Tim Biakabutuka, Lane found himself as the starter. An opportunity he was keen not to waste.

Lane finished the season with 809 rushing yards and seven touchdowns, capping off an impressive rookie campaign.

The popular figure played three total seasons for the Panthers, and his rookie season remained his best before Lane was traded to the Indianapolis Colts in 2000.

Even though his time with the Panthers was brief, he still managed to make a big impact on the franchise.

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After being traded, Lane passed away after he was shot by his wife. A tragic end to what could have been a promising NFL career.