The Panthers now have a 53-man roster. In case you missed it, you can read about it here.
Like every other Panthers fan, I have a few thoughts about the players who were added to the final roster and the ones who were curiously left off.
One not-so-surprising addition
It was a hot and sunny July afternoon in Spartanburg, SC. The CSR crew was sitting in the stands at Gibbs Stadium watching the Panthers run through training camp drills. There was this kid wearing the #86 jersey who was quite impressive to one sage Editor who turned to his colleagues and said "Brandon Williams is going to make the 53 man roster."
To prevent pointing out specific reactions by my fellow CSR members, let's just say that I was alone in that sentiment. As it turns out, I was right.
I'm not trying to gloat or anything, but I told y'all so.
(I totally am trying to gloat.)
A few surprise cuts
The three biggest surprise cuts to me were Drayton Florence, David Gettis and Tauren Poole. I thought all of those guys were virtual locks to make the team after their performances in the preseason, especially Gettis.
As far as Poole is concerned, I'm not sure that Armond Smith is a better choice for the final 53. I'm no Jim Skipper, but it seems to me that Poole looked better in his time on the field than Smith did, and if it came down to small differences between the two I'd say the fact that Poole didn't kick anyone was a point in his favor.
The Florence cut really doesn't "bother" me, but I found it strange that he was released. I know he's like 800 years old, but he was only going to make the vet minimum and his experience could have been useful for our young secondary.
But let's get back to Gettis for a minute. I'm still not sure why he was cut from the final roster. I know he tweaked his hamstring before the final preseason game against Pittsburgh, but is a tweaked hamstring really enough to keep him off the roster after the production he gave while he was on the field? While he didn't score any touchdowns, Gettis caught 11 balls for 184 yards in 3 games. To me, it seems silly to cut him when it seemed that he was regaining his old form, unless his hamstring was much more serious than we thought.
I guess if Gettis had played for the Giants he would have been given a spot and we wouldn't be having this discussion, but it is what it is.
Only 5 wide receivers?
The Gettis cut makes even less sense when we realize that the Panthers only kept five receivers on the roster. I could understand it more if there were six guys who outplayed Gettis, but keeping only five receivers just doesn't make a lot of sense to me.
Kudos to Armanti Edwards for earning a spot on the roster, but I just don't get why the Panthers elected to take one fewer receiver than they've carried in years past, especially when they only kept two quarterbacks as well.
Goodnight and good luck, Jimmy
Say what you will about his rookie year and the horrible 2010 season we had to endure, but one thing you have to give Jimmy Clausen credit for is the way he handled losing his job to Cam Newton in 2011. He dealt with the situation like a true professional and didn't publicly complain at any point during his time as the 3rd string quarterback. I don't know if he'll catch on anywhere else, but I hope he does find a place on another roster and is able to continue his career in the NFL.
Watching the waiver wire
Hopefully Dave Gettleman is keeping a close eye on the waiver wire, because we need OL depth in the worst way. I'm happy for Brian Folkerts, but surely there will be someone better available from another team's cut list.
We also need some secondary depth after cutting DJ Campell. (Still not sure about that one either.) In case you haven't noticed, we're an injury away from Haruki Nakamura starting. That needs to be fixed soon.
I don't know if there will be any hidden gems on the waiver wire like Dwan Edwards turned out to be last year, but hopefully Gettleman at least has his eyes open for any potential additions over the next few days.
Well, that's it for this edition of The Friday Five. What about the final 53 man roster stood out to you? Sound off with your thoughts in the comment section!