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Brandon Boykin chooses Panthers, will serve as nickelback

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Is Boykin a quality signing for the Panthers? (1:15)

Louis Riddick and Jeff Saturday have reservations as to how effective CB Brandon Boykin will be with the Panthers, given that he did not stick around with either the Eagles or Steelers for too long. (1:15)

The Carolina Panthers have signed former Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Brandon Boykin to a one-year contract, the team announced Monday.

Boykin was signed specifically to fill a need at nickelback with Bene Benwikere moving to play the outside corner spot opposite Josh Norman.

"They really know that's where I thrive at," Boykin said on a conference call. "The nickel position presented an opportunity here.

"But I also talked about playing outside corner. All of the guys here are versatile and have to know what is going on at each position. Injuries happen. Things happen. We've all got to be ready to do everything."

Benwikere started four games at outside corner last season after Charles Tillman suffered a knee injury. Benwikere suffered a season-ending fractured leg in a December win against Atlanta.

Boykin said the opportunity to play for an established Super Bowl contender weighed heavily on his decision to sign with the defending NFC champions. He said there were offers from at least four other teams.

"Through this entire process I was weighing what was most important to me," Boykin said. "Money is important, but for me it wasn't the absolute end all, be all.

"There were other offers on the table. At the end of the day, when you talk about Carolina, the team that they have going and the defense that they have and the opportunity I have to come in here and play, the nickel position and corner, it was really just a no-brainer."

Boykin anticipated a big 2015 after a three-year stint in Philadelphia that included a six-interception season. But after the Steelers traded a fifth-round pick for the rights to Boykin, he spent much of the year on the sideline, failing to crack the lineup consistently until Week 13.

He performed well in the final month of the season after Antwon Blake's struggles led to increased playing time. Boykin posted an interception, a sack and two passes defended while holding quarterbacks to a 65.0 passer rating when they threw his way, according to Pro Football Focus.

Boykin said he would describe last season as "just a really weird year."

"A lot of things happened to me that were really out of my control that I still don't understand," he said. "But the past is the past. I've grown from it. I'm thankful for my time there. They gave me the opportunity that I needed to ultimately get here. I played a lot at the end of the season and was able to put some really, really good things on tape."

ESPN NFL Nation reporters David Newton and Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.