Panthers reach deal with Ejiro Evero to be new DC

The Carolina Panthers have agreed to terms with Ejiro Evero to make him the team's defensive coordinator on new head coach Frank Reich's staff.

Evero, 42, was the Denver Broncos' defensive coordinator last season. The team and new coach Sean Payton agreed to let him out of his contract so he could pursue other jobs.

Evero had interviewed for the Panthers' head-coaching job, for which Reich ultimately was hired. He had also interviewed for the head-coaching jobs with the Arizona Cardinals and Indianapolis Colts.

Despite injuries all over the roster, the Broncos finished in the league's top 10 in total defense and rushing defense. For one stretch during the season's second half, the Broncos had the top scoring defense in the NFL, but they fell out of the top 10 after a 51-14 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Christmas Day, the day before head coach Nathaniel Hackett was fired.

Carolina's defense is generally considered the strength of a team that finished 7-10. Led by defensive end Brian Burns and safety Jeremy Chinn, the defense ranked 22nd in the league in yards allowed per game and 19th in points allowed last season.

The Panthers, whose base defense has been the 4-3, will be making a scheme change under Evero, who runs a 3-4 base defense.

ESPN's David Newton and Jeff Legwold and The Associated Press contributed to this report.