Panthers sign French defensive lineman Junior Aho as their international player

NFL teams can designate one player from outside the United States as their international roster exemption, and the Panthers have chosen a player with more American football experience than most.

Junior Aho, a defensive lineman from France, has signed with the Panthers. He gets the team's international exemption, which means he does not count toward the Panthers' 90-player offseason roster limit and also won't count toward the practice squad limit if he's on the practice squad during the regular season. He would count toward the 53-player limit if he makes the active roster.

Aho started playing for an American football club in his hometown of Nice, France, which got him a shot to play in college in the United States, first at New Mexico Military Institute and then at SMU.

After going undrafted last year, Aho signed with the Vikings and was on their practice squad.