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The Panthers have signed three potential starters in the second wave of free agency.
Carolina signed safety Da'Norris Searcy and cornerback Ross Cockrell to two-year contracts on Friday and guard Jeremiah Sirles to a one-year deal. The financial terms were not released Adidas Brent Burns Jersey , although Cockrell's agency Reign Sports Management announced on Twitter his deal was worth $6.8 million.
Searcy and Cockrell both have North Carolina ties and were teammates before with the Buffalo Bills in 2014. It didn't take them long to resume their trash talking with Searcy having played at North Carolina and Cockrell from rival Duke.
"There has been plenty of it already," Cockrell joked on a conference call Friday.
Added Searcy: "Oh yeah, it started when we got off the plane. We already played together and we carried that relationship over from Buffalo."
All three free agents fill vacancies left from last season and could start for the Panthers in 2018.
Searcy was brought in to compete for a starting safety position that opened up when the team released veteran Kurt Coleman.
Searcy is a seven-year NFL veteran who spent the past three seasons with the Titans after four seasons (2011-14) with the Bills. His most productive season came in 2014 when he had 65 tackles and three interceptions.
Searcy played in all 16 games last season for the Titans with six starts, recording 27 tackles, one quarterback pressure, one interception and two passes defensed. He also had six stops on special teams.
He lost his starting job last season, but said he still sees himself as a starter.
"Situations change," Searcy said. "I took it on the chin and still helped the team and played excellent when I was there. I will carry myself as a starter and let the chips fall where they may."
Cockrell, a four-year NFL veteran, is expected to compete for the starting cornerback spot created when Panthers general manager Marty Hurney traded away Daryl Worley to the Eagles for wide receiver Torrey Smith earlier this month.
"I am ready to come in and make plays on the ball Billy Price Jersey Bengals ," Cockrell said. That is what I do."
Cockrell played in all 16 regular season games with nine starts for the Giants last season and led the team with 11 passes defensed. He also had 49 tackles and a career-high three interceptions, including one he returned for a touchdown.
He was drafted in the fourth round in 2014 and has played in 53 career games with 31 starts over his four-year career. Since entering the league he has recorded 153 total tackles, 32 passes defensed and five interceptions.
It will be a homecoming for Cockrell, who grew up in the Charlotte area and played at Charlotte Latin High School.
"It's a great pleasure to come back and rekindle some family ties," Cockrell said. "This is great place to play football. We are not too far removed from a 15-1 season and a Super Bowl."
Sirles enters his fifth season, having spent the past three with the Vikings and will have a chance to compete for the starting guard spot vacated when All-Pro Andrew Norwell signed with the New York Giants.
Sirles has played in 30 career NFL games with 15 starts.
He played in 14 regular season games with four starts last season for the Vikings, with all four coming at left guard.
The 6-foot-6, 315-pound Sirles helped the Vikings rank seventh in the NFL in rushing yards with 122.3 yards per game. In his starts, Minnesota averaged 132 yards rushing yards per game, nearly 10 yards more than the season average.
He started a career-high 10 games while playing in 14 in 2016.
Chris Ballard stuck to the basics on draft weekend.
The Indianapolis Colts general manager started up front and worked his way back.
Along the way Youth Will Dissly Jersey , Ballard found more protection for injured quarterback Andrew Luck, new and perhaps better pieces to fit the Colts' revamped defense and finally some skill players to lower the burden on Luck.
The question remains 鈥?will it be enough to get the Colts back on track?
"You wish you could address every single need at a greater level," team owner Jim Irsay on Saturday, the final day of draft weekend.
"There are areas we still need to strengthen up, there's no question about that. But it's going to be interesting to see just how much better we are. If Andrew Luck is healthy, and we think he will be, we're going to have a pretty formidable football team. That's the bottom line."
The biggest strides were made in areas that have been problematic for years 鈥?the offensive and defensive lines.
Ballard indicated as much by repeatedly emphasizing how the offensive and defensive lines would be cornerstone features of the Colts' rebuild.
So instead of making flashy moves on the first two days, Ballard skipped right over skill position players and bided his time until Saturday.
He wound up getting two of the best guards in this draft class, Quenton Nelson at No. 6 overall and Braden Smith at No. 37, and defensive ends Kemoko Turay and Tyquan Lewis as part of four second-round picks.
It was all part of Ballard's plan.
He added two receivers Authentic Mike Gesicki Jersey , Reece Fountain and Deon Cain, and two running backs, the speedy Nyheim Hines and Jordan Wilkins, with Indy's first four picks on Day 3. Ballard closed it out by adding two inside linebackers in the seventh round.
Now all the Colts can do is wait to see how it all pans out.
"Our main focus was to get some young talent on the fronts and I think we did that," Ballard said.
Ballard made his first and biggest trade last month when he sent the No. 3 pick to the Jets and moved back three spots. In return, he wound up with two extra second-round picks this year and another in 2019.
He was far from finished. Ballard made four other deals over the past three days and finished the weekend making a franchise-record 11 picks in a seven-round draft.
Indy traded the 49th pick to Philadelphia, moving back three spots and got an extra fifth-rounder. Ballard then sent third and sixth-round picks to Cleveland to add a fourth second-rounder. Then the Colts swapped fifth-round picks with Oakland, moving down 19 spots to get a sixth-rounder and finally traded defensive end Henry Anderson to the Jets for a seventh-rounder.
HE SAID IT
"I just feel like I'm just an overlooked guy. I'm really, really overlooked. Obviously being at an FCS school, that is one of the reasons why Joe Mixon Bengals Jersey ," said Fountain, who played at Northern Iowa. "I really sure that I'm the biggest steal of the draft."
Hines posted the fastest 40-yard dash (4.38 seconds) among running backs at the NFL's annual scouting combine.
He could be a lot more than just a breakaway back. Hines was recruited out of high school as a receiver and also returned kicks at North Carolina State. Because of his versatility, he's been compared with Darren Sproles. Hines has embraced the comparison and could be a major upgrade for a team in need of playmakers.
"I can catch the ball, I can run the ball, I can do kickoff returns and punt returns," he said. "So you can expect to see me in different positions and hopefully making plays from different positions."
Only time will tell how many holes Ballard plugged this weekend. There's still work left to do.
Indy remains thin at linebacker especially on the outside if John Simon and Tarell Basham remain at defensive end. The Colts didn't address the secondary at all, could still use an upgrade at right tackle and may be on the lookout for another receiver.