CHARLOTTE - Haruki Nakamura, a safety who backed up perennial Pro Bowl selection Ed Reed for the Baltimore Ravens, has signed with the Panthers.
Nakamura, a sixth-round draft pick of the Ravens in 2008, became a free agent earlier in the week.
"We just think he's a very good football player," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said. "Haruki is a good young player that has played in a lot of different spots. Defensively he's very smart, and he has a lot of position flexibility. We think he can compete at the safety position.
"He's also an excellent special teams player, and he plays the game with a lot of passion."
The Panthers also waived defensive tackle DeMario Pressley, a North Carolina State product who had five tackles in the regular season finale after spending three weeks on the practice squad.
Nakamura played in 56 games over his four seasons in Baltimore, mostly on special teams. He led the team with four special teams tackles during the AFC playoffs and tied for second in the regular season with nine.
The University of Cincinnati product grew up in Ohio. His father, now deceased, moved to the United States from Japan in the 1960s.