Boykin was one of the best cornerbacks left on the market and has primarily played nickelback over his past four seasons in the league. The Panthers desperately needed a slot corner with the move of Bene Benwikere to the outside and the team not bringing back Cortland Finnegan.
The 25-year old cornerback was drafted by the Philadelphia Eagles in the fourth round of the 2012 NFL Draft and had a breakout year in his second season with six interceptions. He was traded by the Eagles prior to the 2015 across the state of Pennsylvania to the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Boykin's time with the Steelers was a bit of a disappointment because he struggled to get on the field until the latter part of the season. The thought was that this may have been tied to the condition of the trade where the Steelers would have to give up a fourth, instead of a fifth, if he played 60 percent of the snaps.
However, according to a source, Boykin lack of playing time wasn't due to the trade but rather because he failed to fully grasp the defense. If the playing time was tied to the trade, the Steelers could have got him on the field earlier than they did and still been under the playing time requirements of the trade.
Once Boykin did get on the field though, he was the team's primary slot corner over the final four regular season games and two playoff games, he played very well. He finished the regular season with 25 tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one interception and five passes defended.
This is another low-risk move by the Panthers that should pay major dividends. Boykin is one of the best slot corners in the league and should make one of the best defenses last year even better in 2016.