Nakamura Signs With Carolina

Haruki Nakamura reportedly got a three-year deal and should find more playing time.

Posted by Ryan Mink on Friday, March 16th, 2012 at 10:49 am | Categories: Ryan Mink

Haruki Nakamura presumably got what he wanted, and thus is leaving Baltimore.

The Ravens’ former reserve safety has signed a three-year contract with Carolina, the team confirmed.

Nakamura is the fourth unrestricted free agent to depart Baltimore already this offseason, joining guard Ben Grubbs (New Orleans), outside linebacker Jarret Johnson (San Diego) and defensive end Cory Redding (Indianapolis).

Nakamura will likely have a better chance at becoming a starter as a Panther. Last year, Carolina had Charles Godfrey and Sherrod Martin as their two starting safeties. They ranked 24th in the NFL in pass defense.

Nakamura told Norris and Davis on 105.7 The Fan that he would leave the Ravens if he found an offer for more playing time elsewhere.

The Ravens’ former sixth-round pick (2008) never started a game in his four years in Baltimore, as he was primarily backing up likely future Hall of Fame safety Ed Reed.

However, Nakamura was a versatile and valuable backup defensive back (sometimes filling in at safety and other times even at cornerback) and special teams player. He was third on the team last year with nine special teams tackles.

“Haruki Nakamura is gone! Imma miss my dogg!!!!” cornerback Lardarius Webb tweeted.

Head Coach John Harbaugh said last August that Nakamura is “one of [his] favorite players,” because of his work ethic.

Now Nakamura, 25, should get more of a chance to show his talent. He logged 24 tackles and one pass deflection in 2010 and had 12 tackles and two deflections last season.

“I learned so much from Ed and Dawan [Landry] and Bernard [Pollard] about how to be a true professional,” Nakamura told Wilson before signing with Carolina.

“Wherever I go, they’re going to get a very determined football player who has grown and learned a lot. I’m ready to make a name for myself. Wherever that opportunity is, I’m trying to make a splash.”

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