Addition of veteran safety Mike Adams could benefit Kurt Coleman, Panthers

Mike Adams has had 75 or more tackles in each of the past three seasons in Indianapolis. AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers filled a need for a veteran safety to play opposite Kurt Coleman on Friday, signing 35-year-old Mike Adams to a two-year deal.

Adams made the Pro Bowl in 2014 and 2015 with the Indianapolis Colts, so he’s playing some of his best football at an older age.

Terms: Two years. Financial terms were not immediately available.

Grade: B. The Panthers did well with older safeties Roman Harper in 2014 and 2015 and Michael Griffin last season. Adams definitely fits that profile. He’s had 75 or more tackles in each of the past three seasons for the Colts and should give Carolina a stronger run presence than it had with Tre Boston, who lost his starting job at one point last season for that reason. I can’t give this an A because the Panthers really wanted Dallas’ Barry Church, who signed with Jacksonville. But on the plus side, Adams is a solid locker room leader who will allow Coleman to return to his natural position.

What it means: This means Coleman likely will go back to the free safety spot he played two seasons ago, when he had a career-best seven interceptions. Adams is a more natural strong safety, although the positions are interchangeable in this defense. This also means Boston could become expendable. His salary more than doubled, based on a playing-time incentive in the new collective bargaining agreement, so the Panthers could save $1.8 million in cap space by cutting him. They also could keep him for depth after all the issues they had with injuries last season at this position.

What’s the risk?: Again, age. Adams will be 36 on March 24. You never know when the wheels will come off on NFL players as they age. Adams missed four games the past two seasons, but overall, health hasn’t been an issue in his 13 seasons.