Tomorrow night, the Carolina Panthers will face off against the New York Jets on Sunday Night Football in a Week 3 preseason matchup. Although the starters will probably play well into the third quarter this time, the actual outcome from the game still should not be taken too seriously. However, what should be taken seriously are the individual performances put forth by the players on the field. With roster cuts looming, we will get the opportunity to see a couple of bubble players try to make their final impressions for the coaching staff. One of these bubble players who will need to have a good game tomorrow night is Armanti Edwards, if he wants to have any shot at making the 53 man roster.
Before I delve any further into this topic, I’m going to say this: the only way Armanti Edwards makes the roster will be as a wide receiver. That’s right, as a wide receiver. A lot of us at CSR are hopeful that even if he can’t make the cut as a wide receiver, the team will try to cut or trade Clausen, and make Armanti the third ‘emergency’ quarterback. Unfortunately, this is just wishful thinking, and it won’t happen. The ship has already sailed for that scenario to play out. So far in camp, Edwards has been working solely as a wide receiver, while occasionally doing some punt and kickoff return work as well. However, he has not seen any reps at quarterback in camp. If the coaching staff had any plans to make him the number three quarterback, they would have done so a long time ago, but they didn’t. Therefore, it all ends here for Edwards – either he impresses as a wide receiver, or gets cut. It’s as simple as that.
So, does Edwards actually stand a chance to make the roster as a wide receiver? Well, the top three at the position will most likely be Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell and Louis Murphy. Although they will not see too much action at receiver this season, Kealoha Pilares and Joe Adams are also locks due to their special teams ability. This leaves one roster spot available that David Gettis, Seyi Ajiritutu, and Armanti Edwards will all be fighting for.
I think the only way that Edwards can make the roster is if Gettis is put on the regular season PUP, or on the IR list. This way, he won’t count as a roster spot, and the coaching staff will have to make the decision to either keep Edwards or Tutu. Given how awful Tutu has been so far in the preseason, if Edwards can make some plays out of whatever chances he'll get, there’s a slight possibility he can sneak onto the 53. However, if Gettis gets healthy and sees some preseason action, forget it. Edwards will be cut on August 31 along with 22 others.
Best of luck, Armanti.