"Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down, never gonna run around and desert you. Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye, never gonna tell a lie and hurt you."
Last week CSR's James Dator shared his projected cuts with us. On a slow news day, I figured I'd do the same. As you probably know, the Carolina Panthers (along with every other NFL club), will be making their first round of cuts on Monday, August 27th, at 4 PM Eastern time.
The roster cannot contain more than 75 players. The Panthers currently have 89 players on their roster. (The maximum is still 90 players, but the Panthers decided not to add another player after newly acquired OL Scott Mruczkowski abruptly retired.) So they will have to trim down 14 spots on their way to the final 53, which is due on August 31st.
It's fairly easy to speculate on this first round of cuts, since it's typically the guys who have seen very little playing time in the first three preseason games. We've yet to get through the third game, and there will no doubt be some evaluation, particularly later in the game, but even as it is, you get the sense that certain players never really stood a chance. That, however, should not deter them from chasing their NFL dream. Hopefully the 14 players who are cut will take their lumps but keep their focus, because as Ron Rivera said last week: the Panthers had over 75 players play for them in the 2011 season due to the number of injuries, and the players with familiarity will always be the first ones called.
That said, let's take a swing at the 14 upcoming roster cuts. Feel free to agree, disagree, or just call me a dumb dumb head in the comments section... after the jump...The Panthers will have to waive 14 players by Monday, August 27th at 4 PM Eastern. Here are 14 players who could be on the bubble...(listed alphabetically):
WR Michael Avila -- He has not gotten many opportunities at KR, and none at WR. The one KR he did run back was hard to watch... he might have made it out to the 10 yard line.
WR Brenton Bersin -- This young man hasn't been on the field very much, but he does have good size and it never hurts being Jerry Richardson's neighbor. He may get called back for the practice squad the week after next.
TE Joe Jon Finley -- The only thing that stands out when you think about Finley is the dropped ball. Although he did make one nice catch late in the Houston game, I don't think he's done enough to beat out Gary Barnidge.
WR Jared Green -- Maybe the Panthers will find room on their practice squad for this perennial pro bowler in the making.
LB David Nixon -- A missed tackle highlighted on Hard Knocks probably didn't do him any favors.
TE Nelson Rosario -- We just haven't seen this kid get any looks. That usually means that you haven't been standing out in practice.
TE Greg Smith -- Yet another case of just a total lack of opportunity in the games.
S Reggie Smith -- This might be a curious move to some, and I could be wrong here, but Smith has been the last man in at safety, aside from the rookie Campbell.
WR Rico Wallace -- While he does have a cool name, that only gets you so far. He's been invisible.
G Justin Wells -- I'm pretty sure he's been running with the third team. If it's not now it's on the 31st.
T Garry Williams -- Williams has been very disappointing. He's looked slow and lethargic and has slid down to 4th or 5th on the tackle depth chart.
LB Kion Wilson -- Wilson played a little bit at the end of last season, but that was when the LB corps was in shambles. If we trim another LB it's likely going to be Wilson.
Side Note: It would be nice to figure out who the kicker is soon so he can start getting all the work, but we also want a thorough evaluation. Challenger Justin Medlock will need to improve his kickoffs if he's going to take the job from incumbent Olindo Mare, who like last year, has been blasting them out of the back of the endzone. Medlock has been the cleaner of the two in terms of placekicking.
Okay troops, there you have it. Have a safe weekend, enjoy the nationally televised game, and as always: don't forget to bring a towel!