Panther fans were elated that the team was able to grab hold of one of the drafts top free agents in Duke Safety Jeremy Cash, especially since the team needs a bit of help at safety. However, it seems the team has other plans for the ACC all-conference DPOY standout.
Today, in a post on the Panthers official website, Bryan Strickland writes...
"Linebacker Jeremy Cash and wide receiver Keyarris Garrett head the list of seven undrafted rookie free agents who have agreed to terms with the Panthers."
And in the case that might be misconstrued as a typo, it is written again in the table of Panthers undrafted free agent signings at the bottom of the post.
While this transition to linebacker makes some sense given the scouting reports that he struggles in deep coverage but excels in run support/blitzing, it is a much harder road to a spot on the Panthers roster than it would be at safety. Not only would Cash need to add considerable weight, to the tune of about 25 pounds at minimum, he would also need to prove he deserves a spot among the deepest linebacking corps in the NFL.
Given this information, he simply won't be able to add the required bulk in the short amount of time between now and the end of training camp. I suspect the Panthers will try and bring him along slowly while he attempts to add mass during a full season of NFL conditioning. Though that should not exclude him from possibly making the 53 man roster. The team will undoubtedly look to use him as a special teamer, as it could be fairly likely that adding him to the practice squad will mean him being signed by another team.
If Cash can eventually add that bulk necessary to play linebacker in the league, he could be a dangerous sub-package weapon for the Panthers. In the Devil's 4-2-5 scheme (not unlike the Panthers base nickel, which gets used more and more regularly each year) he presented a unique and versatile skill-set. Run stopping ability, pass rushing prowess, and the ability to create fumbles. The Panthers are getting a smart and coachable player here for nothing at all, let's hope they can bring out his full pro potential.