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March 15, 2012

Free agent safety visiting Panthers

Baltimore Ravens free safety Haruki Nakamura, an unrestricted free agent, is scheduled to meet with the Panthers on Thursday in Charlotte, according to a league source.

Nakamura, 25, told the Carroll County Times this week he is looking for the chance to compete for a starting job after backing up Pro Bowl safety Ed Reed for four seasons in Baltimore.

Nakamura, a sixth-round pick in 2008 out of Cincinnati, has just 23 defensive tackles and four pass breakups in 56 regular-season games.

The Panthers return both of their starting safeties, although free safety Sherrod Martin regressed last season, prompting an interesting response from Panthers owner Jerry Richardson in January when Observer columnist Tom Sorensen asked about Martin in a Q&A.

Q: Sherrod Martin?

RICHARDSON: What about him?

Q: What do you think about him?

RICHARDSON: I think he plays safety.

The Panthers aren't likely to sign an unproven commodity like Nakamura and dump Martin. But they certainly might look to bring someone in to compete with Martin in training camp, especially if he is an accomplished special teams player, too.

Nakamura tied for second on the Ravens with nine special-teams tackles in 2011.

--Joseph Person

Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/01/04/2899436/richardson-happy-with-direction.html#storylink=cpy

Posted by Observer Sports on March 15, 2012 at 12:26 AM | Permalink


Domo Arigato

Posted by: Wow | Mar 15, 2012 1:40:43 AM

Anyone who has spent four years learning to play defense behind Ed Reed is worth a solid look, unproven or not.

Posted by: Amanda | Mar 15, 2012 2:22:37 AM

sign. this. guy. now.

Posted by: tmack652 | Mar 15, 2012 2:42:30 AM

"The Panthers aren't likely to sign an unproven commodity" really? Unproven commodity...really? Isn't that the description of everyone that is drafted? He hasn't proven to be a a good safety? Well he hasn't proven to not be a good safety. Martin,on the other hand, has already done that. How much worse can it be?

Posted by: TP | Mar 15, 2012 3:11:14 AM

@Amanda, I agree. Anyone that has studied behind Reed for 4 years can not be all bad.

Posted by: Arealpanthersfan | Mar 15, 2012 6:08:09 AM

Looks like a good fit.
Anyway we need help in special team.
Let the guy play!

Posted by: Alex | Mar 15, 2012 7:33:20 AM

The simple fact that he backed up Ed Reed, one of best safties in the league over the last 10-15 years, makes him worth looking at. He can't possibly be any worse than what the Panthers have now. It would be like not giving Matt Flynn a look after backing up Aaron Rodgers... oh wait, so many teams already are.

Posted by: PantherDave | Mar 15, 2012 7:33:35 AM

ink this guy, he has promise

Posted by: TJ | Mar 15, 2012 7:35:01 AM

I dont care if we sign this guy or not, they should go ahead and dump Martin anyways, the guy was worthless. He had one good play, that interception he had in the end zone late last year, that's it.

Posted by: Rick | Mar 15, 2012 8:34:09 AM

Haruki Nakamara...sign him up! He is a terrific young ballplayer, and he has been schooled in the art of Ravens Defense. Of, he'll hit somebody...not like the fairy, Chris Gamble.
Sherrod Martin is earning how much? If it works under the cap, keep him.

Just make sure to lower Chris Gamble's cap number to $2.5 Million. You don't go from averaging 71 tackles per season to only averaging 46 tackles per season and get paid $8 Million per season...If your production goes down, you take a pay cut. Gamble only looked good if you considered our other CB.

It's like having only 2 girls in the bar, and one of them is Roseanne; of course, you're gonna think the other one is hot.

Posted by: Bill Polian | Mar 15, 2012 8:51:53 AM

Bill Polian - Gamble's tackles are down b/c he wasn't getting thrown at b/c he played well and Cappy was an easy target.

Posted by: Holla | Mar 15, 2012 9:22:28 AM

to add on to Holla, I checked on all of Gambles' stats. He was a top five CB in almost all 2011 catagories. I might have misspelled that last word.

Posted by: Gut | Mar 15, 2012 9:45:04 AM

here is the link


Posted by: Gut | Mar 15, 2012 9:49:33 AM

Maybe he can teach Godfrey how to tackle and not miss so many plays. I will be thankful when they cut that loser. He would be lucky to start at CB on another team in the league but yet he is our saftey??? C'mon MAN!

Posted by: Pat Daddy | Mar 15, 2012 9:50:10 AM

Pat - CBs are faster than Safteties... that is why Godfrey is a Saftey. Anyway - i say we sign the Raven and draft a safety in the third round.

Posted by: dirt | Mar 15, 2012 10:12:16 AM

With what 3rd round pick dirt?

Posted by: Dean | Mar 15, 2012 10:17:41 AM

there isnt a CB in the league that chases WRs as well as chris gamble. ive even seen him chase them all the way to the endzone before.

Posted by: dar456 | Mar 15, 2012 10:19:43 AM

Dirt- I'm not sure we'll be able to sign a safety in the 3rd round.. be traded away that last year.

Posted by: JD | Mar 15, 2012 10:20:06 AM

godfreys not the problem, its martin

Posted by: adam | Mar 15, 2012 10:36:47 AM

godfrey is solid, will lay hits as well, martin is the problem, a true fan can see that,,gosh..

Posted by: pantherlife | Mar 15, 2012 10:48:31 AM

At times martin seem scared And confused Out there We need someone to replace him and captain but at the same time we need to get better don't just pick up any body

Posted by: izzy | Mar 15, 2012 10:53:20 AM

At times martin seem scared And confused Out there We need someone to replace him and captain but at the same time we need to get better don't just pick up any body

Posted by: izzy | Mar 15, 2012 10:53:21 AM

can we stop signing these "nobodys" and inexperienced players and get some decent talent?

Posted by: matt | Mar 15, 2012 10:59:37 AM

Sherrod Martin is a very good safety for the Panthers, this dude can lay wood!!! He's usually all over the field and and is still young, younger than the Raven behind Ed Reed!!Just get the defence up and maybe draft or sign a cornerback then we should be okay.

Posted by: Hater Hater | Mar 15, 2012 11:07:30 AM

I like Martin and Godfrey but we need some compition, I like that he plays special teams because captain was the only good special team player on punts. There were some others but he was the best. Our special teams needs all the help it can get and that's the only reason why I dre kerpatrick so much is bc he can tackle. Not sur if he is our guy I like clayborn if he falls to us. Defence line is a must because that why San Fran and the giant were soo good

Posted by: BriceMcnamara | Mar 15, 2012 12:18:54 PM

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