The free-agency period has been good one way or another for every NFL team. Hence, it’s time to take a look at the positives in our newest series for End Zone Score. Which newcomer to the club was the franchise’s best offseason move and why? We are getting things started with the 2016 last-place teams in the eight divisions. We have already previewed the New York Jets, Philadelphia Eagles, Cleveland Browns, Chicago Bears and Jacksonville Jaguars. And that means the Carolina Panthers are now in the spotlight.

SS Mike Adams

Talk about a player that has gotten better with age? It goes without saying that strong safety Mike Adams was easily a bright for the Indianapolis Colts’ shaky defense the past few years. In 44 regular-season contests with Chuck Pagano’s squad, he averaged just under 90 tackles per season. The playmaker also totaled 12 interceptions, five fumble recoveries, 20 passes defensed and eight forced fumbles. He earned Pro Bowl recognition in both 2014 and ’15. The Carolina Panthers are Adams’ fifth NFL stop after stints with the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos and Colts.

The 36-yearold defensive back joins a pair of veteran free agents returning to the franchise. Defensive end Julius Peppers and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn are back with the team and hope to bring a little more consistency than we saw from Ron Rivera’s defense in 2016. The latter and Adams join a secondary that has free safety Kurt Coleman but a slew of young cornerbacks in second-year pros James Bradberry, Daryl Worley and Zack Sanchez. Adams figures to be a pivotal part of a unit that is now under the guidance of coordinator Steve Wilks. And it’s a defense looking to make amends for an up-and-down ’16.

Russell S. Baxter is the NFL lead columnist for and the founder of Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

About The Author

Russell S. Baxter
EndZoneScore (NFL) Lead Columnist

A freelance NFL writer, editor, researcher and analyst for more than 30 years with a background in both television (ESPN)--contributing to shows that won 5 Emmy Awards--as well as radio (both live and voice-over), Baxter is the founder of He also writes for NFL Spin Zone, FanSided, Pro Football Spot, Blasting News and The Sports Post. He has written for Bleacher Report, Cold Hard Football Facts, Pro Player Insiders, The Football Girl,, NFL Female and more. Baxter has been a steady guest on Yahoo! Sports Radio, NBC Sports Radio, CBS Sports Radio, FOX Sports Radio and also appear on a weekly basis during the NFL season on Patriots Playbook on Radio. Baxter can be heard on numerous other stations and podcasts across the country and all over the world. Follow him on Twitter at @BaxFootballGuru.

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