Panthers sign Saints S Harper to 2-year contract

STEVE REED AP Sports Writer Published:

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The Panthers announced they've signed unrestricted free agent safety Roman Harper from the New Orleans Saints to a two-year contract.

Financial terms were not released Tuesday.

Harper, 31, is expected to replace starter Mike Mitchell, who signed a free agent contract with the Pittsburgh Steelers earlier this offseason.

Harper has been a mainstay at safety in New Orleans for the past eight seasons starting 104 games. He was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2009 and 2010. However, injuries limited him to five games in 2013.

The Panthers like to use their safeties to blitz the quarterback and Harper has proven capable of doing just that during his career. The 6-foot-1, 200-pound Harper has 17 career sacks, the most by any defensive back since 2006.

He's forced 14 career fumbles.

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