Mare's future with Panthers in doubt

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Olindo Mare now has competition. The Panthers have brought in undrafted rookie kicker Adi Kunalic to compete with the veteran.

Olindo Mare now has competition.

The Panthers have brought in undrafted rookie kicker Adi Kunalic to compete with the veteran.

Kunalic, from Nebraska, attended training camp with the Panthers but was cut prior to the regular season.

Mare has run into a cold spell for the Panthers.

He missed a 36-yard field goal with 5:26 left Sunday that would have given Carolina a 26-24 lead against Atlanta. The Falcons went up by eight points two plays after the missed field goal when Matt Ryan hooked up with the Julio Jones on a 75-yard touchdown pass.

The Falcons would up winning by that margin -- 31-23.

Mare also missed a potential game-tying field goal earlier in the season against Minnesota, causing the Panthers to lose.

Panthers general manager Marty Hurney wouldn't say who'll handle kickoffs and field foals this Sunday at Houston.

"We think Adi has a really strong leg and a great attitude," Hurney said, "so we will have to see what happens this week when we get to practice."

As for Mare, Hurney said the team has told him he has to do better.

The Panthers cut John Kasay in the offseason and replaced him with Mare, an unpopular move among fans. Mare got a huge contract -- four years and $12 million with a $4 million signing bonus.

The Panthers put linebacker Jason Phillips on injured reserve with a right calf injury to make room for Kunalic on the roster.

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