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NFL free agents: S Kevin Payne agrees to terms with Panthers

Former St. Louis Rams S Kevin Payne has agreed to a deal with the Carolina Panthers. The move is a loss for the Rams who have a big hole to fill at safety after losing Oshiomogho Atogwe. The Rams traded a conditional seventh round pick for Payne last April.

Payne was an experienced veteran capable of working at both free and strong safety spots, the Spagnuolo mold of what a safety should do. Last year would have been his fourth season in the NFL for the former Chicago fifth-round draft pick, but an injury during the preseason put him on the injured reserve list. 

Payne was a friend of TST, posting here after signing with the Rams. 

Eagles safety Quintin Mikell is one of the Rams' top free agent priorities. To make those free agency moves, the Rams will have to clear some cap space, and another safety is a prime target. James Butler is due $3 million in salary this year, and didn't play much late in the season last year. Craig Dahl beat him out for the starting SS job in camp.