Eric Shelton. Keary Colbert. Dwayne Jarrett. High draft pick busts. All teams have them, and the Panthers have had their fair share. What do you think? Should "we can't cut him yet because we spent a high draft pick on him" be a legitimate reason for making this year's team? Let's get more specific:
1. Armanti Edwards. I love the kid, I love his burst, I love his attitude. But if he comes into camp, continues to bumble in the return game, and shows little progress in becoming a legitimate slot receiver? You gotta cut him.
2. Jeff Otah. I loved the trade/pick. I saw the next Walter Jones. Great body, skills and talent. The trickle effect from his injury is probably the biggest factor in the Panthers dreadfulness last year. But if the guy cannot get healthy....over the span of not weeks, or months...but years.... You gotta cut him.
3. Brandon LaFell. This one is a hypothetical and I hope it doesn't happen this way (and the weakest of the arguments, but i want to try to prove my soapbox point). Suppose we keep Smitty. We invest some money in a #2 WR. Gettis beats LaFell out. Rainbow Warrior or App. Armanti thrive in the slot. Or here's one, what if Trent Guy totally proves in camp/preseason he's a better receiver than LaFell? Do we cut Guy and keep LaFell, because "but he's a #2 pick, we can't cut him"?? You gotta cut him.
4. Jimmy Clausen. I think I saved the best for last. Jimmy shows up to camp unprepared. He's struggling with the prospect of losing his spot to SuperCam. Moore/Pike/FA vet outplay him in training camp. He still has the deer in the headlight look he had last year. Do we really have to keep him on the roster, "because he was our top pick last year and it's too quick to give up on him"?? Do we? Really???
I understand all the reasonings of keeping all these guys. The best of which is, you need more than one year to evaluate their upside/talent. But I think Marty should learn his lesson from Jarrett: It doesn't take 4 years to recognize a guy is a bust! Maybe two years....and in some cases...... one.
I think there's a strong possibllity that one of these 4 guys will prove he's a bust in the next 6 weeks, and....................................You gotta cut him.