Let's get it out of the way now -- it's not his fault, and the Carolina Panthers blew it. By no fault of his own, Armanti Edwards will go down as one of the biggest draft busts in team history. Converting a quarterback to wide receiver is a risky prospect, gambling what was tantamount to a second-round pick on it was utter foolishness. We'll never know the whole story behind the Armanti Edwards selection, but it's an even bet that the marketing for a home-state hero was as influential as his physical talents. Now, with the final job Armanti had being given now put on a player off the practice squad, we might as well put a fork in this one.
Two years removed from the selection, Edwards could have been a small-school Russell Wilson. Sure, Wilson tested his mettle against far greater competition, but there is a role for slight quarterbacks who operate best outside the pocket. The hope in Carolina was that AE would become an offensive Swiss-army knife, a do everything player who could cause mismatch errors.
Now in 2012 there's no need. Cam Newton is a better quarterback, Joe Adams is a better punt returner, end-arounds are better run by Steve Smith, and when looking for YAC the Panthers have seemed more inclined to look towards a running back, rather than a small receiver.
Active for 31 career games, if this is truly it for Armanti he will finish with 4 receptions for 114 yards, and two passes complete for 12 yards -- six chances, and it appears that was enough for the team to know this experiment was a failure.
It's crushing for Appalachian State fans to see him so misused, and it's understandable why. Armanti was your star, everyone understands that. No, he wasn't given many chances -- but he didn't have the skill set to warrant more chances. Edwards has had a great attitude under terrible circumstances, and now we can only hope that one of the team's 'good guys' gets another chance with another team.