Panthers Claim CB David Long

The Panthers will take a flier on a cornerback that will bring considerable system familiarity to the team. A day after the Raiders waived David Long, the veteran cover man will land with the Panthers.

Long will have a good knowledge of Ejiro Evero‘s defensive system, with the fifth-year defender having overlapped with the first-year Carolina DC in Los Angeles for three years. Ejiro resided as a Rams assistant during much of Long’s rookie-contract stay with the Rams. New Panthers secondary coach Jonathan Cooley also overlapped with Long in Los Angeles.

Although unable to earn regular playing time with the Raiders, Long should have some allies in Charlotte. Ejiro spent five years on Sean McVay‘s staff and finished out that run as the team’s DBs coach during its Super Bowl-winning 2021 campaign. Evero spent the previous four years as the Rams’ safeties coach. Long started five games, including one playoff contest, during that memorable season. So far in 2023, however, Long has made one start.

The Raiders moved on from 2022 starters Rock Ya-Sin and Anthony Averett this offseason, starting over with a handful of flier-type additions. Long became one of those, signing a one-year, $1.5MM deal that included $625K guaranteed. But the Raiders went with fourth-round rookie Jakorian Bennett over Long as a starter. A former third-round Rams draftee back in 2019, Long played only 24% of the Raiders’ defensive snaps this season. The Raiders have also made significant changes this week, firing Dave Ziegler and Josh McDaniels. That will likely lead to more personnel adjustments as well.

With the Rams letting Darious Williams walk in free agency in 2022, they looked set to give more playing time to Long and Robert Rochell. But neither could carve out consistent roles as L.A. starters. Long started four games in 2022. The Michigan alum did, however, intercept a Kyler Murray pass and return it three yards for a touchdown in the Rams’ 2021 wild-card romp. Long also started in Super Bowl LVI, playing 82% of the Rams’ defensive snaps in the game.

Carolina dangled veteran Donte Jackson in trades but did not unload anyone at this week’s deadline. The team remains without Jaycee Horn, who is on IR with a significant hamstring injury sustained in Week 1. Jackson, C.J. Henderson and ex-Evero Rams charge Troy Hill are in place as Carolina’s starters for the time being.

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