Free Agency

Free agent safety visiting Panthers – Charlotte Observer

Inside the Panthers: Free agent safety visiting Panthers.

Baltimore Ravens free safety Haruki Nakamura, an unrestricted free agent, is scheduled to meet with the Panthers on Thursday in Charlotte, according to a league source.

Nakamura, 25, told the Carroll County Times this week he is looking for the chance to compete for a starting job after backing up Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed for four seasons in Baltimore.

Nakamura, a sixth-round pick in 2008 out of Cincinnati, has just 23 defensive tackles and four pass breakups in 56 regular-season games.

The Panthers return both of their starting safeties, although free safety Sherrod Martin regressed last season, prompting an interesting response from Panthers owner Jerry Richardson in January when Observer columnist Tom Sorensen asked about Martin in a Q&A.

Q: Sherrod Martin?

RICHARDSON: What about him?

Q: What do you think about him?

RICHARDSON: I think he plays safety.

The Panthers aren’t likely to sign an unproven commodity like Nakamura and dump Martin. But they certainly might look to bring someone in to compete with Martin in training camp, especially if he is an accomplished special teams player, too.

Nakamura tied for second on the Ravens with nine special-teams tackles in 2011.


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