DBs Boston, Benwikere sign contracts


CHARLOTTE – The Panthers' newly-drafted defensive backs have put pen to paper.

Fourth-round safety Tre Boston from North Carolina and fifth-round cornerback Bene Benwikere from San Jose State signed their contracts on Tuesday.

"(Boston's) very smart, he can get everybody lined up. He sets a tone back there; he's a very physical player, and on top of that he has very good skills," general manager Dave Gettleman said. "He's definitely got a special teams mentality to him – that was very important for us, and we just thought he was a very good value there."

The Panthers traded up 20 spots in the fifth-round to select Benwikere and fill their need at corner.

"(Benwikere's) got excellent ball skills; he's very smart like Tre," Gettleman said. "That's important back there. Bene's going to have an opportunity to compete at the nickel spot right off the bat."

With sixth-round running back Tyler Gaffney signing his contract Saturday, the Panthers now have all of their day three draft picks under contract.

Additionally, the Panthers signed free agent linebacker Billy Boyko, who participated in Carolina's rookie minicamp this past weekend as a tryout player. The Lehigh product was signed an undrafted rookie free agent by the Oakland Raiders last season. He led the Mountain Hawks with 104 tackles as a senior in 2012.

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