Report: Panthers agree on 1-year deal with Drayton Florence

By Matt Rybaltowski |

CB Drayton Florence (center) has reportedly signed with Carolina. (USATSI)

Several days after the release and subsequent retirement of Chris Gamble, the Carolina Panthers have agreed to terms on a one-year deal with former Lions cornerback Drayton Florence, according to ESPN.

Florence, a second-round pick of the Chargers in 2003, spent the first five years of his 10-year NFL career in San Diego. In 2007, Florence's final season with the Chargers, Panthers coach Ron Rivera served as the team's linebackers coach.

Florence, 32, has also spent time with the Jaguars and Bills. Hampered by injuries, Florence appeared in only eight games in 2012. The 6-0, 195-pound cornerback sustained a right forearm injury in Week 2 at San Francisco that kept him out the next seven games. Florence returned in Week 11 vs. Green Bay, but was inactive for the regular-season finale against the Bears.

Despite the addition of the veteran defensive back, the Panthers are still thin in the secondary. Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, a fourth-year veteran, has drawn significant interest on the open market. Munnerlyn, who started 25 games for the Panthers in the last two seasons, has received interest from several teams, including the Browns and Dolphins.

In 2012, Florence ranked 82nd in pass-coverage efficiency among cornerbacks who appeared in 25 percent of their team's snaps, according to Pro Football Focus. Munnerlyn ranked 66th in the same category. A season earlier, Florence finished with three interceptions and five pass defenses while Munnerlyn failed to intercept a pass in 828 snaps.

The Panthers could opt to pursue a cornerback early in April's NFL Draft. In's latest draft projections, 12 cornerbacks received at least a second-round grade.

For more NFL news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnNFL on Twitter, subscribe to our RSS Feed, watch Pro Football 360 daily at 3 p.m. ET and NFL newsletter. You can also follow Matt Rybaltowski @mattrybaltowski.

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