Panthers sign free-agent S DeCoud, TE Dickson

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 10, 2014 at 9:10 pm •  Published: April 10, 2014
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Carolina Panthers added a pair of unrestricted free agents Thursday, signing safety Thomas DeCoud to a two-year contract and tight end Ed Dickson to a one-year deal.

Financial terms were not released.

The 6-foot-2, 190-pound DeCoud has spent his entire six-year NFL career with the Atlanta Falcons and went to the Pro Bowl in 2012. He has started 78 of his last 79 games, including 15 last year when he registered 83 tackles and returned a fumble 30 yards for a touchdown.

"Thomas provides a veteran in the secondary who is familiar with the NFC South and has been a very solid player," Panthers coach Ron Rivera said in a press release. "We are pleased to add him to a safety group that has good experience and production."

It's unclear what DeCoud's arrival will mean for safety Charles Godfrey, who missed 14 games last season with a torn Achilles tendon. The Panthers could save more than $5 million if the release the veteran safety — meaningful money for a team that doesn't have much room to maneuver under the NFL salary cap.

Plus, the Panthers already signed free-agent safety Roman Harper from the New Orleans Saints earlier this offseason.

DeCoud was a third-round draft pick of the Falcons in 2009 and has played in 89 games with 507 career tackles, 14 interceptions, three sacks, four forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. He has played in five playoff games, starting four.

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