Less than two months after signing him to compete for the nickel cornerback position, the Carolina Panthers cut Brandon Boykin on Monday.
The move comes after a rookie minicamp where Carolina’s three drafted cornerbacks debuted. Panthers coach Ron Rivera spoke highly of their start, and clearly that led to Boykin’s dismissal.
Boykin, 25, didn’t see much playing time with the Steelers last season until the end of the year, when he played well. The Panthers signed him to a one-year deal worth $840,000, including a signing bonus of $80,000, at the end of March.
The Panthers drafted James Bradberry, Daryl Worley and Zack Sanchez with their second-, third- and fifth-round selections in last month’s draft. Bradberry and Worley will compete at outside corner; Sanchez will play at the nickel.
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Carolina also has linebackers Shaq Thompson and Jeremy Cash, who play in nickel-like subpackages that would further reduce Boykin’s role.
The move also shows Carolina’s confidence in the health of Bené Benwikere. The third-year corner is recovering from surgery to mend a broken leg suffered late in the season.
“Brandon brings a lot of versatility,” Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman said in a statement when they signed Boykin. “He’s athletic, smart, instinctive, tough, and has quality ball skills. Brandon is a very good piece for our defense and brings solid special teams value as well. We’re excited to add Brandon to our roster.”
The Panthers added another cornerback Monday when they signed Shaq Richardson, who tried out for the team at rookie minicamp over the weekend.
Carolina now has eight cornerbacks on its roster. Travell Dixon, who signed with the team on a futures contract in January, was the ninth before being moved to safety.