Well, that didn’t take long. Shortly after discussing options for punter Andy Lee, the Panthers have released him from his contract.

This goes along with a string of other cuts as NFL teams reduce their roster to 53, giving a thousand players chances at new teams. With it, comes a few surprises out of Carolina. But first, the list so far:

LB Ben Boulware
LB Zeek Bigger
DE Arthur Miley
DE Bryan Cox Jr.
DE Zach Moore
DE Efe Obada
DE Larry Webster
DT Toby Johnson
DT Eric Crume
DT Gabriel Mass
DT Connor Wujciak
S Dezmen Southward
S Damian Parms
CB Devonte Johnson
CB Jeff Richards
QB Garrett Gilbert
QB Joe Webb
FB Darrel Young
WR Keyarris Garrett
WR Austin Duke
WR Moze Frazier
WR Trevor Graham
OT Blaine Clausell
C Brian Folkerts
RB Jalen Simmons
TE Eric Wallace
TE Bryce Williams
P Andy Lee

Injured Reserve

WR Brenton Bersin
WR Fred Ross
C Gino Gradkowski
G Chris Scott
OT Dan France
G David Yankey
CB Teddy Williams
TE Scott Simonson
S L.J. McCray

There are few surprises here. The surprises there are, however, are big. Given his preseason performances, while limited, the release of Ben Boulware was written on the walls. It’s shocking, though, that the Clemson standout hasn’t performed better up to this point. My money is on him finding a home.

Worth noting are the two isolated offensive line releases. At the end of the day, the depth up front looks good. Cam should be confident.

While a number of WRs were let go, and the players are skilled enough to find homes, none of the names present are particularly shocking. Depth at the pass catching position was significant enough to ship out a skilled two-position player to gain some CB backup.

While it’s less about who was let go, and more about how many, the release of Joe Webb, as well as fellow QB Garrett Gilber, comes as a surprise. We knew one had to go, and  I was a strong proponent for Webb having a job, after all, but holding on to only two QBs speaks volumes to the confidence in Cam’s shoulder repair. If there was a shred of doubt in how it would hold up, there’s no way they would enter the season with just one backup.

I expect many of these players to find new homes, and the Panthers to scoop up another couple of players who lost jobs around the league. No matter what happens, it’s the final sign that the regular season is truly, finally upon us.

 

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