Carolina Panthers, A.J. Bouye comply with contract

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Carolina Panthers on Wednesday agreed to a take care of free-agent cornerback A.J. Bouye as they try to enhance their secondary heading into this month’s NFL draft.

Bouye, a Professional Bowler in 2017, might be suspended for the primary two video games of the 2021 season as a part of a six-game ban he acquired final yr for violations of the league’s coverage on performance-enhancing substances.

He might be allowed to take part in offseason and preseason practices, in keeping with the league.

Carolina signed 10-year veteran nook Rashaan Melvin to a one-year deal earlier in free company.

Bouye, 29, was launched by Denver in February after showing in solely seven video games because of accidents and the suspension. He was traded to the Broncos from Jacksonville in March 2020, after being a giant a part of the Jaguars’ run to the AFC Championship Sport within the 2017 season.

Bouye entered the NFL in 2013 with Houston as an undrafted free agent. He performed properly sufficient that he acquired a five-year, $67.5 million take care of Jacksonville in 2017.

He had six interceptions that season in 16 begins. He has solely two picks since, and had none for Denver final yr. In 69 profession begins, he has 14 interceptions total.

Bouye doubtless might be penciled in because the starter in Carolina reverse Donte Jackson, who’s within the final yr of his rookie deal.

The previous Central Florida standout will compete with Melvin, doubtless on the appropriate facet.

The addition of Bouye lessens the urgency to make use of the No. 8 decide of the draft on a nook. The workforce eradicated the need to draft a quarterback on Monday after buying and selling with the New York Jets for Sam Darnold, however normal supervisor Scott Fitterer stated that does not completely precluded utilizing the eighth decide on that place.

“What we needed to do going into this draft by way of free company, by way of this commerce with Sam, was to simply eliminate all of the wants we now have,” Fitterer stated Monday. “We needed to get to a spot the place the roster was in a great place, and we may take the very best participant at No. 8.”

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