Carolina Panthers

Sources: Panthers safety Kurt Coleman reaps reward of 3-year extension

Safety Kurt Coleman picked off seven passes in the regular season last year with the Carolina Panthers.
Safety Kurt Coleman picked off seven passes in the regular season last year with the Carolina Panthers. dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

One year after leading the team in interceptions, Carolina Panthers safety Kurt Coleman earned a contract extension.

Coleman and the Panthers agreed to terms on a three-year contract extension Tuesday, according to league sources. NFL Network was the first to report the deal.

The two sides had been in discussions for an extension since organized team activities in June. Financial details of the contract were not disclosed, and the deal is expected to be announced Wednesday when players report to training camp.

Coleman, entering his seventh year in the league, picked off seven passes in the regular season last year with the Panthers. His seven interceptions were three more than the second-closest Panther.

General manager Dave Gettleman plucked Coleman off the free-agent heap after the 2014 season. Coleman had spent his first four seasons in Philadelphia before one season in Kansas City, where he had three interceptions.

Coleman signed a two-year deal worth $2.8 million with the Panthers last year. And in 15 games at free safety he had seven interceptions and nine passes defensed. His seven interceptions were tied for third in the NFL last season.

He added two more interceptions in the playoffs while starting at free safety in Super Bowl 50.

“I respect everyone that’s involved in the process, and I’m trusting that both sides are going to do what’s right and what’s fair,” Coleman told the Observer in June.

The Panthers plan to move Coleman from free safety to strong safety this season. After not re-signing Roman Harper, Carolina will slide Tre Boston to his more natural position of free safety and move Coleman to strong safety.

Coleman is expected to be the most senior member of Carolina’s secondary after the Panthers drafted three cornerbacks in this year’s draft.

“It’s just a part of the territory. I’m blessed to be able to play this game as long as I have,” Coleman said in June. “But it’s a lot of responsibility and I’m excited about that. We have what it takes. I’ve just got to continue helping nurture and grow.”

This signing should not preclude the Panthers from pursuing a long-term contract extension with defensive tackle Kawann Short.

Talks between the two sides are expected to start again at camp.

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