What to do with Minter?

Mike Minter

Now that the Carolina Panthers have locked up strong safety Mike Minter through the 2009 NFL season, the big question now is what does the team do with him?

Minter worked primarily with the first team at strong safety during the minicamp at Bank of America Stadium ahead of first-round draft pick Thomas Davis. But he also saw some action at free safety, position he hasn't played since his rookie season in 1997.

"I can do either," Minter said. "The safeties are pretty interchangeable in our scheme. All it takes is for one (offensive) player to shift and you essentially go from strong safety to free safety anyway. So you have to know both positions."

There's little doubt Davis will end up in the starting lineup when the regular season rolls around, whether it be a strong safety or at outside linebacker.

The team was high on him coming out of college and they love what they've seen of him so far.

Odds are Davis will remain at strong safety in the team's base defense and continued to play the "joker" position at outside linebacker on obvious passing downs.

That is how the team is using him at minicamp now and they've given no indication that they are going to change anytime soon.

It seems to me that if the Panthers were going to play Davis at outside linebacker full time, then they would have already made the move so he can gain as much experience as possible there heading into training camp.

"I don't care where I play," Davis said. "But so far I really like how the coaches are using me."

Minter signed a four-year contract extension with the Panthers that includes $10 million in new money, likely assuring that he will end his career with the Panthers.

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