Dec 16, 2012; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Rams free safety Quintin Mikell (27) hit Minnesota Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder (7) for a loss of yardage during the second half at the Edward Jones Dome. The Vikings defeated the Rams 36-22. Mandatory Credit: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Carolina Panthers Sign Safety Quintin Mikell to a One-Year Contract

After having added SS Mike Mitchell from the Oakland Raiders during the offseason, Carolina Panthers GM David Gettleman wasn’t done.

About an hour ago, news broke that he signed former St. Louis Rams safety Quintin Mikell. He was the rated as the fifth-best safety in the NFL in 2012 according to ESPN’s Insider area, which is for paid subscribers only, so I won’t share more than that tidbit here.

However, with the front-seven looking extremely strong, young corner Josh Norman looking like an All-Pro in the preseason, the defensive backfield really needs some stalwart defenders – especially considering He of the Three Inch Vertical Leap, Haruki Nakamura – is on injured reserve.

Charles Godfrey was slated to start at the Free Safety position and may still start to begin with, but Mikell is a huge upgrade over Godfrey.

For the past few seasons, the Panthers have had a fistful of backup-quality safeties. Gettleman’s arrival and roster moves shows me he’s looking to win now with what few resources he has.

The larger story can be found here, “On S Quintin Mikell signing with Carolina” but the basics are that Mikell was signed to a big contract by the Rams that was more than they could let him play on out. Something had to give, and Gettleman snatched him up while he could.

It’s yet another shrewd move by an experienced player-personnel manager who has been a part of SIX Super Bowl-winning teams during his time in the NFL.

The man knows what he’s doing and continues to show how much better of a GM he is than Marty Hurney ever was. Hurney had a running back fetish, signing three different RBs to huge contracts – DeAngelo Williams, Jonathan Stewart, and most recently, Mike Tolbert.

Just a couple of years ago, I recall a LOT of NFL teams being interested in the big man’s (J-Stew) services and were willing to fork up a couple of draft picks in a trade, but Hurney not only said no, he signed Stewart to that big contract…one that he hasn’t lived up to at all.

In the NFL it’s just like anything else – you buy low and sell high.

Hurney neglected to do that, and Gettleman is having to work around the financial damage to the organization that Hurney caused.

For Mikell’s part, he punished enemy QBs more than any other NFL safety, with 14 combined sacks, hits and hurries.

That’s exactly what Gettleman ordered.

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