AP source: Panthers land CB Vonn Bell, DT Shy Tuttle

CHARLOTTE — The Carolina Panthers added help at safety and found an anchor for the middle of their defensive line on the first day that NFL teams were allowed to negotiate with free agents from other teams.

The Panthers have agreed to terms on contracts with safety Vonn Bell and defensive tackle Shy Tuttle, a person familiar with the situation told The Associated Press on Monday. The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity because the deals won’t be made official until Wednesday, when the NFL’s new year starts.

ESPN reported that Tuttle’s deal was worth $19.5 million over three years and includes $13 million in guaranteed money, citing agent Drew Rosenhaus. No details have been released on Bell’s contract.

Both Bell and Tuttle are expected to be starters for the Panthers, who are transitioning to a 3-4 defensive scheme.

Bell has started 93 games and played in 109 over his seven-year NFL career, including 48 starts in the last three season for the Cincinnati Bengals. He played his first four seasons with the New Orleans Saints. The 28-year-old Bell has 636 career tackles with 15 forced fumbles and six interceptions since coming into the league as a second-round draft pick in 2016 out of Ohio State.

The 6-foot-3, 300-pound Tuttle is expected to play nose tackle in Carolina’s new base defensive front under defensive coordinator Ejiro Evero, with Derrick Brown moving to defensive end. The Midway, North Carolina, native started 33 games during his four seasons with the Saints, including 29 in the past two seasons. The 27-year Tuttle has 143 career tackles with one interception and one fumble recovery.

The Panthers went 7-10 last season and recently traded up to acquire to the first pick in the NFL draft.

(WATCH BELOW: Panthers trade up for No. 1 pick in 2023 draft)

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