Nate Chandler hoping to defy the odds

Nate Chandler was an undrafted free agent in 2012, giving him little chance to ultimately become a starting left tackle in the NFL.

The Panthers took a chance and have groomed him the past couple of seasons, giving him an opportunity to succeed this year with an open position at left tackle in 2014. Jordan Gross has retired, with the position up for grabs with training camp about a week away.

And as ESPN.com reports, Chandler is on equal footing for the starting left tackle spot based on the work he put in during the offseason.

"My goal is to be a starting offensive tackle and win the Super Bowl and go down fighting and prove everybody wrong," Chandler told the website.

Chandler was originally a defensive tackle that moved to the offensive side of the ball. He played guard and right tackle for the Panthers a year ago, starting eight games.

If Chandler wins the job and performs well, the Panthers will be getting quite the bargain. Left tackles are among the highest paid players on each team. Chandler signed a four-year deal worth a maximum value of $5.12 million, though only $1.87 million of that is guaranteed.

His base salary for 2014 is $570,000. Monetarily speaking, the Panthers are probably hoping Chandler wins the job so that they can employ a worthy starting left tackle at an extremely cheap rate.

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