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Panthers sign Brandon Boykin to one-year deal

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The Carolina Panthers have added help on the back end of their defense.

The team on Monday announced the signing of cornerback Brandon Boykin to a one-year deal.

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With Carolina's defensive backfield lacking depth, the former Eagles and Steelers cover man looms as the top candidate to play the slot next season as Bene' Benwikere moves to the outside.

Boykin started just one game for the Steelers in 2015, but his role in Pittsburgh increased down the stretch. Look for that trend to continue as part of a Panthers defense that leans heavily on nickel coverage.

With All-Pro cornerback Josh Norman yet to sign his franchise tag, Carolina might also look to the draft for more help and depth in the secondary. Landing Boykin, though, lines up as a very typical Dave Gettleman move.

The Panthers general manager has made a living on meshing low-cost free agents into his defense, and last year's conference crown is a fair indicator of how that plan has worked for the defending NFC South champs.

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