- Associated Press - Thursday, August 25, 2011

CINCINNATI (AP) - The Carolina Panthers claimed Kentwan Balmer off waivers from the Seattle Seahawks, addressing a need at defensive tackle Thursday.

Balmer, a first-round draft pick (28th overall) by the San Francisco 49ers in 2008, started 11 games last season.

The Panthers are hoping the 6-foot-5, 318-pound Balmer can be a suitable replacement for Ron Edwards, who was placed on injured reserve after tearing his triceps on Aug. 4.

The former University of North Carolina player has largely underachieved during his three-year NFL career. He played two disappointing seasons (19 tackles in 27 games) for the 49ers before being traded to Seattle in 2010, where he saw his most significant action, recording 43 tackles. However, the Seahawks cut him this week and the Panthers, who own the first pick when it comes to waiver wire pickups, jumped on him.

Losing Edwards left the Panthers extremely thin at defensive tackle with Nick Hayden the most experienced of the bunch with 13 starts. The Panthers drafted Sione Fua and Terrell McClain in the third round. Fua has been starting alongside Corvey Irvin, a third-round pick in 2008, so far this preseason.

To make room for Balmer, the Panthers placed cornerback Cletis Gordon on injured reserve with a shoulder injury.

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