Panthers finalize deal with S Harper

Charlotte, NC ( - Safety Roman Harper will be remaining in the NFC South for the upcoming season, as the former New Orleans Saint signed a two-year contract with the Carolina Panthers Tuesday.

Harper started 104 games over eight seasons with New Orleans and helped the Saints capture their first and only NFL championship during the 2009 campaign, when the team defeated the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl XLIV. The 2006 second-round pick also went to a pair of Pro Bowls during his tenure with the Saints, earning the honor in 2009 and 2010.

The 31-year-old is coming off an injury-plagued season, however, having appeared in just nine games with five starts due to a knee problem, and was released by the Saints last month.

Harper twice recorded a pair of 100-tackle seasons in New Orleans and has totaled 17 sacks, seven interceptions and 13 forced fumbles over 108 career games. He led all NFL defensive backs with 7 1/2 sacks in 2011.