Panthers Sign Brandon Boykin

TUESDAY, 11:48am: Boykin’s one-year contract with the Panthers is a minimum salary benefit deal with an $80K signing bonus, according to Tom Pelissero of USA Today (Twitter link).

MONDAY, 11:30am: Following his visit to Carolina, the Panthers have signed Brandon Boykin to a contract, according to the team’s official website. Per Max Henson of Panthers.com, it’s a one-year deal for the free agent cornerback.Brandon Boykin

Boykin, 25, had been one of the more intriguing cornerbacks still available on the free agent market. In 2015, he joined the Steelers, having been sent to Pittsburgh by the Eagles in a trade for a fifth-round pick. However, Boykin played primarily on special teams until the final few weeks of the season — he logged 252 of his 274 regular-season defensive snaps in the Steelers’ last five games.

Despite not seeing significant playing time in Pittsburgh, Boykin ranked as a top-40 cornerback in 2015 (out of 111 qualified players), per Pro Football Focus. The Georgia product has always shown flashes of upside, particularly in his six-interception 2013 campaign, but has never really gotten the opportunity to be a full-time player — he has just seven career starts.

In Carolina, Boykin will likely slot in as the Panthers’ nickel back. Josh Norman and Bene Benwikere project as the probable starters on the outside, with Charles Tillman no longer under contract.

While Boykin didn’t earn a spot on PFR’s top 50 free agent list, we placed him sixth among free agent cornerbacks when we broke down 2016’s top defensive free agents, placing him ahead of veterans like Leon Hall and Patrick Robinson due to his relative youth and upside.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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One comment on “Panthers Sign Brandon Boykin

  1. Rory Parks

    I realize he did not get a lot of burn in Pittsburgh, but given his performance when he has seen the field, I’m surprised he’s getting such a modest deal. I already liked the signing for Carolina, and now it looks even better.

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