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Quintin Mikell reportedly talking to Carolina Panthers

When cornerback Captain Munnerlyn recently proclaimed that the Carolina Panthers have the potential to be the NFL's top defense this season, Marc Sessler pointed to the glaring weakness in the secondary. The only chance for Munnerlyn's prognostication to become reality is if offenses agree to stop passing.

Help could be on the way for that beleaguered secondary, though. Free-agent safety Quintin Mikell has been talking to the Panthers and a deal "could be done soon," Geoff Mosher of Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia reported Wednesday.

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St. Louis Rams coach Jeff Fisher insists Mikell played "very well" and the coaching staff was "really happy with him" last season, but the team couldn't abide his $9 million salary-cap hit.

Mikell's market had grown stale ostensibly due to his age (32) and the growing reluctance of NFL teams to spend money on in-the-box safeties at a time when coverage skills are in high demand.

Free safety Charles Godfrey is the only member of the Panthers' defensive backfield locked into a starting job. Special-teamer Haruki Nakamura was exposed as a starter last season, leading to first-team reps for undrafted rookie Robert Lester in spring practices. Mikell likely would slide right in as the starting strong safety if a contract agreement is reached.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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