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Panthers’ immediate roster move after Sam Darnold trade

Panthers, A.J. Bouye

The Carolina Panthers are not done shopping following their blockbuster trade for quarterback Sam Darnold. They now have a shiny new cornerback to partner up their QB, as they agreed to terms with former Denver Broncos CB A.J. Bouye, per Darin Gantt of Panthers.com.

After missing the playoffs last season with a 5-11 slate, the Panthers have gone under the radar and actually have a promising team in their hands. Bouye, 29, gives them another proven cover player alongside the two they already have in Donte Jackson and Rashaan Melvin.

The Panthers, however, still need to play its first two games of the new season without Bouye, since he will still be serving his remaining suspension for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances last year. Bouye, however,  is still expected to be ready to play by then since he’s still eligible to participate in the offseason program, training camp, and preseason games.

The one-time Pro-Bowler was on the Panthers’ radar as soon as he was released by the Broncos after playing just seven games for the team.  His best year came in 2017 playing for the Jacksonville Jaguars, where he registered 56 tackles, six interceptions, and 18 pass deflections. All in all, Bouye has started 69 games in his eight-year NFL career, with a total of 14 interceptions, 72 passes defended, and 338 tackles.

The Panthers, meanwhile, are certainly re-tooling this offseason, and general manager Scott Fitterer suggested that there can be more movement in the coming days.

“What we wanted to do going into this draft, through free agency, through this trade with Sam, was to just get rid of all the needs we have,” Fitterer said. “We wanted to get to a place where the roster was in a good spot, and we could take the best available player at number eight.”

The Panthers have three selections in the sixth round of the upcoming 2021 Draft.