ABILENE -- Former ACU placekicker Morgan Lineberry signed a two-year free agent contract with the Carolina Panthers just minutes after the NFL Draft ended Saturday night.
Also on Saturday, ACU head coach Ken Collums said that former quarterback Mitchell Gale flew to Orlando, Fla., late Saturday night to participate in the mini-camp for defending Canadian Football League (CFL) champion Toronto. He is expected to sign a deal with the Argonauts and join former ACU teammate Tony Washington on the Argos' roster.
Former ACU kickoff specialist and punter Spencer Covey is talking to a couple of different teams and could know his destination in the next few days.
Lineberry also received a signing bonus from the Panthers, almost unheard of for rookie free agent signees. But it appears as if the Panthers are intent on giving Lineberry every opportunity to win the place kicking job currently held by four-year NFL veteran Graham Gano.
Gano signed with the Panthers late in the 2012 season and made 9 of 11 field goal attempts. He kicked for the Washington Redskins from 2009-11, connecting on 4 of 4 attempts in 2009, 24 of 35 in 2010 and 31 of 41 in 2011.
"I'm just looking forward to the opportunity to go in there and learn and compete for the job," said Lineberry, who will participate in the Panthers' rookie mini-camp in two weeks. "I just wanted a shot at making a team, and that's what the Panthers have given me."
A Dallas native and 2009 graduate of Lakehill Prep Academy, Lineberry left ACU as its all-time leader in field goals made with 50 and its third-leading point scorer with 290 points. Only ACU Hall of Fame running back Wilbert Montgomery (422) and kicker Matt Adams (339) scored more points as a Wildcat than Lineberry.
Lineberry also holds the school record for field goals in a season with 21 in 2011 and he's the only kicker in program history to make four field goals of 50 yards or more in a career.