Panthers Sign Roman Harper
The Panthers attempted to shore up their secondary, signing veteran S Roman Harper to a two-year, $4.5 million contract with a $1.5 million signing bonus. Harper replaces the recently departed Mike Mitchell, who signed with Pittsburgh earlier in the week.
In an extremely hot safety market, Harper represents the old guard at the position. Unlike the versatile multi-dimensional safeties of today, Harper is more of a traditional in-the-box strong safety.
He was tremendously productive in that role with the Saints, posting six seasons with at least 89 total tackles and topping triple-digit tackles twice. Harper was an elite fantasy option during this stretch, especially in 2010 and 2011 when he racked up a combined 10.5 sacks and eight forced fumbles.
Last season, Harper appeared to be on the decline. On the wrong side of 30, he spent a bulk of the season injured and played in just nine games. With the Saints selecting Kenny Vaccaro in last year’s draft, the writing was on the wall for Harper. New Orleans cut ties with him in mid-February.
Harper joins an impressive Panthers defense that somehow cobbled together a strong secondary last season despite lacking any marquee names. It’s still unclear whether Carolina views Harper as a three-down player, but his deficiencies in coverage would suggest a rotation is likely.
The possibility of Harper seeing situational snaps and the fact that he’s going to be playing behind Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis don’t bode positively for Harper’s fantasy stock. At this point, he’s still on the fantasy radar, but he shouldn’t be someone you consider on draft day.
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Jeff Ratcliffe is the Assistant Managing Editor and resident IDP maven of PFF Fantasy.