Panthers coach Ron Rivera confirmed the team has interest in free agent safety Quintin Mikell, who was in Philadelphia when Rivera was an Eagles assistant.
Without getting into details, I think theres a little curiosity and thats about as much as I can say about that, Rivera said Thursday before teeing off at a celebrity golf tournament hosted by Bobcats president Fred Whitfield.
Geoff Mosher of CSNPhilly.com reported last week the Panthers and Mikell were talking, and a deal could be done soon.
Mikell, 32, has been a starter for six of his 10 NFL seasons, the last two with St. Louis. The Boise State product is an in-the-box safety who has finished with 75 tackles or more the past three seasons.He would represent an upgrade over the Panthers current candidates at strong safety, a field that includes undrafted rookie Robert Lester, free agent acquisition Mike Mitchell, second-year pro D.J. Campbell and Haruki Nakamura, who was benched midway through his first season with Carolina.
The Panthers report to training camp at Wofford in two weeks.
He can play. Hes a good football player, Rivera said of Mikell. Well see how things go. Its still early. Weve got a couple weeks left to go.
Rough offseason: At breakfast before Thursdays golf tournament, Hall-of-Famer Warren Sapp and several other former NFL greats discussed the spate of offseason arrests around the league this year, headlined by the murder charge against former New England tight end Aaron Hernandez.
Sapp said the NFLs preventative measures, such as its rookie symposium, can only go so far.
These are grown men were talking about and unthinkable crimes. We were just talking about it at the (breakfast) table, youve got to be kidding me, Sapp said. This aint even a kid from the hood. Hes from Connecticut. Im dumbfounded, I really am. The leagues been running 90-plus years and itll run 90 more.
Sapp, an NFL Network analyst whose final season was 2007, was charged with domestic battery in 2010 before prosecutors dropped the charges.
Asked about the 30-plus arrests of NFL players since the Super Bowl, Sapp said, Its just crazy. I guess its just the world we live in nowadays.
Extra points: Rivera said rookie offensive lineman Edmund Kugbila, who missed most of the Panthers OTAs and minicamp with a leg injury, should be ready to go for the start of training camp. Wide receiver Lamont Bryant, who was sidelined with a hamstring injury during the spring, also has been cleared. Riveras daughter, Courtney, a junior pitcher at UCLA, will be in Oklahoma City this weekend trying out for a spot on Puerto Ricos Pan Am Games roster. Ron Riveras father is from Puerto Rico.