The Carolina Panthers have yet to address the nickelback position this offseason with Bene Benwikere heading to the outside and Cortland Finnegan not brought back. However, that may change on Monday as the team is expected to meet with Brandon Boykin on Monday according to ESPN's Jeremy Fowler.
Boykin, who started his career with the Philadelphia Eagles before being traded to the Pittsburgh Steelers prior to last season, has made a name for himself playing the nickel position. At only 5'10" the former Georgia Bulldog would be at a disadvantage on the outside, going up against taller wide receivers.
Despite the height, there would be plenty of upside for the Panthers to add a player like Boykin to their defense. He has yet to miss a game in his four-year career due to injury and has really created a name for himself at the position. The Panthers meanwhile do have a significant hole in their secondary and being only 25 years old, he could be a long-term answer versus just a stop gap for a season or two.
The market has been fairly quiet for Boykin this offseason and the reason may be because of his struggles this past season with the Steelers. According to Jim Wexell, Boykin really didn't see much playing time until midway through and the reason was because coaches had said he failed to really grasp their defense.
This could benefit the Panthers though as now being almost a month in, the price tag to sign a young cornerback like Boykin may have significant dropped.
This is one player that makes sense for Carolina from a skill set point of view as well as a need for this defense. At the end of the day, it may come down to money and if the two sides can agree on a contract.