Panthers, Sims close to a deal

Darin GanttMarch 4, 2008 

CHARLOTTE -- Calling this week's get-together with the Panthers in Idaho "a great meeting," the agent for former Oakland left tackle Barry Sims said he expected to talk contract numbers with the team today.

Sims would provide an immediate upgrade at tackle, having logged 108 of his 119 career starts at left tackle. The 33-year-old has played all nine of his NFL seasons for the Raiders.

"The meeting went well, from a football standpoint and a personal standpoint," agent Ken Vierra said Tuesday. "We're going to talk some more and see what happens."

Vierra said he thought Sims and the Panthers were "a good fit" on many levels, saying "we'll see if we can get something done."

Signing Sims would provide cover for what's still anticipated to be a high pick of a tackle by the Panthers. They took a large contingent to Boise State's pro day Monday to watch Ryan Clady, although he's expected to be long gone by the time they pick 13th. They're moving Travelle Wharton inside to guard provided they find a qualified tackle, and they might (again) move Jordan Gross from right to left tackle.

• BRAYTON ON BOARD: The Panthers bolstered their defensive line, agreeing to a two-year deal with former Oakland first-rounder Tyler Brayton.

According to Brayton's agent, he will sign a two-year deal with the Panthers, to compete for a starting job at right defensive end, as well as rush from inside on passing downs.

"He's ready for the change of scenery," agent Tom Mills said. "From what they described they were looking for, it seems like a good fit with his skill set."

• EXTRA POINTS: Even though Carolina was mentioned as an early destination, safety Marlon McCree said during a visit to Buffalo he had narrowed his choices to the Bills and Denver. He had also visited Cincinnati. The Panthers had some discussions with his agent, but no visit was ever set up. McCree didn't completely rule out Carolina entering the picture, although they likely can't offer him a starting job. He's so similar to incumbent Chris Harris it's hard to imagine them playing together. ... The Broncos are also expected to have Panthers safety Marquand Manuel in for a visit, while wide receiver Drew Carter has drawn interest from Oakland and Tampa Bay. ... Former Panthers linebacker Dan Morgan visited Detroit. He's also met with New Orleans in an attempt to continue his career.

daringantt@carolina.rr.com

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