The Carolina Panthers are close to finalizing a deal for veteran safety Quintin Mikell, formerly of the St. Louis Rams and Philadelphia Eagles -- according to CSN's Geoff Mosher. Released this off-season due to his cap figure, Mikell would immediately become the Panthers' starting strong safety, if signed.
Familiarity has been a common thread throughout Ron Rivera's tenure, and the ties to Mikell are deep. Sean McDermott coached him throughout his career in Philadelphia, including his Pro Bowl season in 2009 and a 2010 All Pro appearance.
The 32-year-old Mikell would be a short-term option, but an exceptionally good one for a team in need of an in-the-box safety. He's coming off the highest tackle total of his career with 101 for the Rams last year, including three sacks and four forced fumbles. Another impressive statistic for Mikell is his pursuit in the backfield, indicated by his 19 career stuffed runs, and 10 combined in the last three seasons.
Pairing Mikell with Charles Godfrey represents a huge upgrade in the secondary -- and we'll keep you updated if/when the signing is official.