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Panthers 53-man Roster: Introducing your 2016 Carolina Panthers

Roster Cuts have been completed. As always, there were some surprises, and plenty of expected cuts. Let’s take a look at the last 53 men standing.

NFL: Super Bowl 50-Carolina Panthers vs Denver Broncos Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

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...

QUARTERBACKS (3): Cam Newton, Derek Anderson, Joe Webb

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...

RUNNING BACKS (4): Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert, Fozzy Whittaker,Cameron Artis-Payne

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.

WIDE RECEIVERS (6): Kelvin Benjamin, Ted Ginn, Jr., Devin Funchess, Philly Brown, Brenton Bersin, Damiere Byrd

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...

TIGHT ENDS (3): Greg Olsen, Ed Dickson, Scott Simonson

Same party as last year, though one has to wonder after a pretty sub-par preseason how Scott Simonson continues to get the nod?

OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (9): Ryan Kalil (C), Michael Oher (OT), Mike Remmers (OT),Trai Turner (G), Andrew Norwell (G), Gino Gradkowski (C), Daryl Williams (OT),Donald Hawkins (OT), Tyler Larsen (G)

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.

DEFENSIVE ENDS (5): Charles Johnson, Kony Ealy, Mario Addison, Ryan Delaire,Wes Horton

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.

DEFENSIVE TACKLES (4): Star Lotulelei, Kawann Short, Paul Soliai, Vernon Butler

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.

LINEBACKERS (7): Luke Kuechly, Thomas Davis, Shaq Thompson, A.J. Klein,David Mayo, Jeremy Cash, Jared Norris

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.

DEFENSIVE BACKS (9): James Bradberry (CB), Daryl Worley (CB), Kurt Coleman (S),Tre Boston (S), Bene Benwikere (CB), Robert McClain (CB), Teddy Williams (CB),Colin Jones (S), Dean Marlowe (S)

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.

SPECIALISTS (3): Graham Gano, Andy Lee, J.J. Jansen

Bomb. Squad. And better than ever.

INJURED RESERVE: Alecxih, Chas, Byrd, LaRon, Cox, Rakim, Jacobs, Ben, Johnson, Devon, Norwood, Kevin, Rigsbee, Jordan

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

Meh.