The Carolina Panthers appear primed to make an upgrade to their secondary, as they have interest in veteran free agent safety Quintin Mikell.
NFL.com’s Chris Wesseling had this to say about interest by teams in Mikell:
Mikell’s market had grown stale ostensibly due to his age (32) and the growing reluctance of NFL teams to spend money on in-the-box safeties at a time when coverage skills are in high demand.
Mikell’s age and deteriorating value in coverage has led to a lackluster market for his service. However, the Panthers, who need secondary help to top off a defense that is primed for big things in 2013, could benefit from Mikell’s services.
Free safety Charles Godfrey is penciled in as a starter, however the strong safety position has a cloud of uncertainty over it. The fact that undrafted free agent Robert Lester has a legitimate chance to win the starting strong safety job says enough about how poor the Panthers are at the position, making signing Mikell a priority.
The 32-year old spent the last two seasons with the St. Louis Rams, intercepting two passes and recording 4.0 sacks. He recorded 75 solo tackles in 2011 and 83 in 2012. He is a traditional in-the-box safety that would provide value mainly in run defense.
He is also a dependable veteran, as he has played in all but one game over the last five seasons. The Panthers are in dire need of stability at strong safety, and Mikell would be a solid, reliable addition.
The signing of Mikell appears to be close to being complete, according to CSN Philadelphia’s Geoff Mosher:
Help seems to be finally on the way for the back end of Carolina’s defense.