Carolina Panthers: Three cut candidates ahead of training camp
The NFL is a cutthroat business. The Carolina Panthers represent one of 32 NFL franchises that ultimately need to decide on roster trimming ahead of the 2023 NFL season.
Ending someone’s dream of a crack at an NFL roster is a tough pill to swallow but an unfortunate reality. Veteran players stuck in predicaments due to price tags and recent bad injury luck find themselves in this tier of uncertainty.
This is no different for the Carolina Panthers, who need to make tough decisions as the offseason progresses. Here are five players in danger of missing the cut.
With the Carolina Panthers adding several new faces to their wide receiver unit this offseason, this could leave third-year pro-Shi Smith in a challenging position.
Smith’s production at this time simply doesn’t warrant a guaranteed roster spot. In 23 career games for the Panthers, the 24-year-old wideout has only produced 28 receptions for 400 yards and two touchdowns according to Pro Football Reference. That isn’t going to cut it for a player looking to make his way into a crowded offense.
Special teams could be an outlet for Smith to remain on the roster but even that prospect appears more unlikely following the Panthers’ recent additions. With receivers, Adam Thielen, Terrance Marshall Jr, Laviska Shenault, and Jonathan Mingo having safe spots on the final roster, where does Smith fit in the fold?
With most teams in the NFL carrying five wide receivers on the roster at a time, there are a lot of bodies competing for a particular spot as a depth receiver and impact contributor on special teams. It will certainly be an uphill battle for the 24-year-old.
Similar to Smith, safety Eric Rowe finds himself fighting for a roster spot on a very strong and loaded unit on the Panthers’ defense. With safeties Donte Jackson, Jeremy Chinn, and 2023 fifth-round selection Jammie Robinson already secured roster spots, Rowe will have to fight to earn his place.
Rowe has proven to be versatile at both safety spots throughout his time in the National Football League but that might not even be enough to secure a roster spot for the 2015 second-round pick.
With eight years of NFL experience under his belt, Rowe could very well prove this listing wrong and still find a way to carve out a role in a young Panthers secondary.
With how well the unit proved to fare last season despite its youth is the reason why Rowe still makes this list today. His status in the blue and white is far from a certainty.
A 2023 undrafted free agent, running back Tiyon Evans will have his work cut out for him trying to make a roster with two established running backs in Chubba Hubbard and 2023 free agent signee Miles Sanders.
Evans is one of four running backs fighting for a final roster spot or two along with veteran Raheem Blackshear, Spencer Brown, and Camerun Peoples. Though the running back position in the NFL has featured a rotating door of talent in recent years, Evans is still considered on the outside looking in.
Barring an impressive training camp, Evans appears to be on the shortlist of players who could receive the boot from the final roster. The young running back lacks proven ability at the professional level and experience. Being an undrafted player does not help matters.
If Evans proves to be a valuable contributor for the Panthers special teams unit he could very well latch on to the final roster. At this moment there is no indication that is the case, making Evans a wildcard.
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