Holt comes home

The Carolina Panthers may have found another starter on Thursday, signing five-year veteran Terrence Holt to fill their vacancy at free safety.

Although the team could still add a safety in the draft and Nate Salley is expected back from a new injury, it's pretty clear Holt's experience gives him the inside track to replace last year's starter Deke Cooper, who was not re-signed.

Holt has started 41 games over the past three seasons for the Arizona Cardinals and Detroit Lions. Salley has never started an NFL game. Holt, 28, compiled 245 tackles, eight interceptions, 13 passes defensed, four forced fumbles and four fumble recoveries in five seasons with Detroit and Arizona.

After four seasons with Detroit, Holt signed last year with Arizona and started all 16 games at free safety and led all Cardinals defensive backs with 75 tackles to go along with one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

He was released by Arizona on Feb. 21.

"Terrence is a very smart, talented player who brings experience to our safety position," said general manager Marty Hurney. "We've liked him since he came out of college and feel very fortunate to add him to our roster."

Originally selected in the fifth round (137th overall) from North Carolina State by Detroit in 2003, Holt's three interceptions tied for the second most among NFL rookies.

The next season, the Gibsonville native finished third on the team with 17 special teams tackles. Holt earned the Lions starting free safety job in 2005 and started 10 games before being placed on injured reserve with an elbow injury.

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