You want to keep everyone, but you just can’t. College is over... and the NFL says you can only have 53 guys on your squad. Here are the ones that Rivera and his staff along with general manager Dave Gettleman decided were worthy of sticking around...
Nothing to see here. This is one of the most stable QB rooms in the whole NFL. No surprises, no one going home. Moving along...
Cameron Artis-Payne has won the right to call himself the official backup to Jonathan Stewart, along with Fozzy Whittaker assuming change of pace duties, and of course Mike Tolbert lowering the boom when necessary. Brandon Wegher was no doubt a difficult cut here. I am confident he will land on another team’s roster this year.
The moment Kevin Norwood landed hard on his hip during the final pre-season game, this roster became very clear in most people’s minds. Norwood has been placed on Injured Reserve, and will get his chance again next year. Meanwhile...
Same party as last year, though one has to wonder after a pretty sub-par preseason how Scott Simonson continues to get the nod?
Not many surprises here in the first seven, and those that watched the OL during preseason shouldn’t be shocked that Donald Hawkins made the team. He is probably our best hope as a swing Tackle. Daryl Williams struggled throughout preseason when placed on the left side, though he did show promise in run blocking. Tyler Larsen will at least get the nod through the first four games while Chris Scott is dealing with suspension.
For all the craziness surrounding this position during camp and the preseason, the Panthers stuck with what they know from last year, top to bottom. I still would not be shocked to see someone suddenly get waived based on who gets cut around the league.
The only surprise here is that the Panthers elected to go with just four players, making Kyle Love the obvious odd-man out. I expect that Love is going to be told to wait by the phone this year in case of any kind of injury, as the Panthers absolutely do like him.
While no one is surprised to see the first five names on this list, chances are good that many are surprised to see both Cash and Norris make the team. Norris is probably the biggest surprise on the entire roster, though I would expect that he will spend gamedays inactive. Jeremy Cash earned his spot through great improvement over the course of camp and preseason, and excellent play on special teams. The coaches always say that is the best way to make it, and there you go. David Mayo has developed nicely, and that is a good thing with A.J. Klein expected to hit free agency next season.
The second biggest surprise of cut-day other than Norris making the team was the release of 5th round CB Zack Sanchez. In my opinion, it wasn’t surprising given his level of play, only surprising because of his draft round. The selection of Sanchez never made sense to me from the get go, and in the end, it didn’t make sense to the Panthers either. A few people were also surprised to see Lou Young go, but it was a numbers game. Teddy Williams is more valuable on special teams. If Sanchez clears waivers, expect to see him on the practice squad along with Young. The three amigos need a new nickname.
Bomb. Squad. And better than ever.
Many of these guys are fortunate in a weird way to have ended up injured. I would have had a hard time cutting Rigsbee, Jacobs, and Norwood. Also, Devon Johnson deserves a shot again next season because he never got off the ground this year.
SUSPENDED: Scott, Chris