The Carolina Panthers on Wednesday consented to a contract with free-agent cornerback A.J. Bouye as they attempt to improve their secondary heading into the current month’s NFL draft.
Bouye, a Pro Bowler in 2017, will be suspended for the initial two games of the 2021 season as a feature of a six-game boycott he got a year ago for violations of the league’s policy on performance-enhancing substances.
He will be permitted to partake in offseason and preseason practices, as per the league.
Carolina signed 10-year veteran corner Rashaan Melvin to a one-year deal prior in free agency.
Bouye, 29, was released by Denver in February in the wake of showing up in just seven games as a result of wounds and the suspension. He was traded to the Broncos from Jacksonville in March 2020, in the wake of being a major part of the Jaguars’ hurried to the AFC Championship Game in the 2017 season.
Bouye entered the NFL in 2013 with Houston as an undrafted free agent. He played alright that he got a five-year, $67.5 million deal with Jacksonville in 2017.
He had six interceptions that season in 16 beginnings. He has just two picks since, and he had none for Denver a year ago. In 69 career begins, he has 14 interceptions overall.
Bouye probably will be penciled in as the starter in Carolina opposite Donte Jackson, who is somewhat recently of his rookie deal.
The previous Central Florida standout will contend with Melvin, likely on the right side.
The expansion of Bouye diminishes the urgency to utilize the No. 8 pick of the draft on a corner. The group eliminated of the need to draft a quarterback on Monday in the wake of trading with the New York Jets for Sam Darnold, however general manager Scott Fitterer said that doesn’t completely blocked utilizing the eighth single out that position.
“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 Monday. “We wanted to get to a place where the roster was in a good spot, and we could take the best player at No. 8.”