Reserve safety Nakamura latest to leave Ravens in free agency

March 16, 2012 | Luke Jones

The free agency news didn’t get any better for the Ravens on Friday as reserve safety Haruki Nakamura has reportedly become the fourth unrestricted free agent to leave Baltimore.

Nakamura has reportedly agreed to a three-year contract with the Carolina Panthers, according to a report. A sixth-round pick in the 2008 draft, the 25-year-old defensive back was one of the Ravens’ top special teams players and a key defensive reserve in his four years with the Ravens.

“Having the teammates that I had, I don’t know if I’ll be able to find teammates like I had in Baltimore,” Nakamura told AM 1570 WNST before the start of free agency. “My four years here in Baltimore were unbelievable. There’s a true tradition here in the building.”

With Nakamura and fellow 2008 draft pick Tom Zbikowski stuck behind starters Ed Reed and Bernard Pollard on the depth chart at safety, it was expected that the Ravens would have difficulty keeping either player without an immediate opportunity to earn more playing time.

Able to play both safety positions and occasionally filling in as a nickel or dime back when needed, Nakamura expressed a preference to find a free-agent destination where he would receive more defensive snaps despite his fondness for Baltimore.

He’ll have that opportunity in Carolina.