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Position preview: Safeties

Posted Jul 18, 2014

With Mike Mitchell and Quintin Mikell no longer on the team and Charles Godfrey switching to cornerback, the Panthers signed two accomplished NFC South veterans to shore up the safety position in Roman Harper and Thomas DeCoud.

Young players like second-year safety Robert Lester and rookie Tre Boston will learn behind them as they push for playing time.

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Roman Harper
Signed as an unrestricted free agent during the offseason after eight years with the New Orleans Saints. ... Played in nine games with five starts and recorded 42 tackles and one interception in 2013. ... Missed seven games with a right knee injury. ... Produced at least 100 tackles in each of the previous five seasons. ... Earned Pro Bowl recognition in 2009 and 2010.

Thomas DeCoud
Signed as an unrestricted free agent during the offseason after six years with the Atlanta Falcons. ... Started 15 games at free safety and recorded 83 tackles and three passes defensed in 2013. ... Scored first career touchdown on a 30-yard fumble return in Week 7. ... Pro-Bowler in 2012 has 14 career interceptions.  

RETURNERS

Robert Lester
Played in 12 games with four starts at strong safety as a rookie in 2013. ... Recorded 21 tackles, three interceptions, four passes defensed and one fumble recovery. ... Originally signed as an undrafted free agent from Alabama, where he contributed to three BCS National Championship teams.

Colin Jones
Played in every game and tied for the team lead with 10 special teams tackles in 2013. ... Special teams ace originally acquired by Carolina in a trade with the San Francisco 49ers prior to start of 2012 season.

Anderson Russell
Signed as a free agent during the offseason. ... Attended training camp with Carolina in 2013 and was waived/injured (ankle) in the final roster cutdown. ... Played in six games for the Miami Dolphins and Carolina in 2012.

ROOKIE

Tre Boston
Drafted in the fourth round from North Carolina. ... Played in 48 games with 40 starts and recorded 282 tackles, 33 passes defensed, three forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries. ... Finished career third in school history with 13 interceptions.