AJ Bouye: Carolina Panthers sign free agent cornerback two months after release from Denver Broncos
The Carolina Panthers have added to their defensive backfield depth by agreeing to a contract with free agent cornerback AJ Bouye.
Bouye was available after being cut by the Broncos in February, just one season after he was traded to Denver by the Jacksonville Jaguars.
The 29-year-old’s arrival comes in the same week the Panthers traded for New York Jets quarterback Sam Darnold, meaning they have addressed needs under center and at cornerback ahead of this month’s Draft, where they will have the number eight overall pick.
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Carolina general manager Scott Fitterer said: “What we wanted to do going into this Draft, through free agency, through this trade with Sam, was to just get rid of all the needs we have.
We workin @AJBOUYE21 💪 pic.twitter.com/gnsrdj5nfy
“We wanted to get to a place where the roster was in a good spot and we could take the best available player at number eight.
“We could always move up and we could always move back, but this puts us in a position to make the right football decision for this team moving forward.”
The Panthers were willing to take on Bouye despite knowing he will not be available to them immediately. He must still serve the final two games of a six-game suspension handed down in December for a violation of the NFL’s policy prohibiting performance-enhancing drugs.
Bouye missed the final four games for the Denver Broncos last season, although he will be eligible to participate in the Panthers’ offseason and preseason programs.
After entering the NFL as an undrafted free agent with the Houston Texans in 2013 out of the University of Central Florida, Bouye played four years in Houston before spending three years in Jacksonville.
He made the Pro Bowl during his first season with the Jaguars, when he grabbed a career-high six interceptions as the team reached the AFC championship game.
In his lone season with the Broncos, Bouye finished with 23 tackles and six passes defensed in seven games (all starts).
Over 100 career games, including 69 starts, Bouye has 14 interceptions, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one sack, 72 passes defensed and 338 tackles.
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