It’s preseason and the Panthers have made their first major roster move outside of special teams. Devon Johnson, the popular FB from Marshall has been waived/injured with a pre-existing back injury. Taking his place will be journeyman OT Willie Smith who has spent time with Washington, Oakland, and San Diego since being drafted in 2011. He was waived by the Chargers after playing 15 games there in 2014 and brought back to Washington but was cut again before the 2015 season.
The contract is a one year deal with specifics not yet available. This move appears to be likely another body on the field while the Panthers figure out their long term options at the OT position. Daryl Williams has yet to impress and the Panthers have been interviewing possible additions including working out Giants OT Will Beatty who left without an offer. The move could have just as much to do with knowing Johnson was not going to stick as needing an OT. The Panthers have yet to keep a true Fullback other than Tolbert past training camp.