Carolina Panthers Final Preseason Cuts: News and Notes
The 2012 Carolina Panthers are taking form and will be official at some point on Friday night. We already know who the big dogs are. Second-year superstar quarterback Cam Newton will continue to lead a now explosive offense, while also being backed by one of the deepest and most talented backfields in the entire league.
But enough about the stuff we already know. Here’s a breakdown of the final cuts Panthers’ coaches had to hand out on Friday, as they get down to their 53 players and prepare for week one of the 2012 NFL season:
Seyi Ajirotutu – WR
Seyi Ajirotutu was the biggest surprise cut on Friday (so far, anyways), as he has history with head coach Ron Rivera going back to San Diego. Ajirotutu is raw, but he has always had great size and solid speed. Unfortunately, he’s not very versatile and didn’t do enough to get him a gig as one of Carolina’s top four receivers. Not being able to provide anything on special teams likely got him cut in the end. He’ll show up on another NFL team’s roster before the season starts.
Ogemdi Nwagbuo – DT
Carolina waived the versatile Nwagbuo, who has the size and skill-set to play all over the defensive line. Undrafted out of Michigan State back in 2009, Nwagbuo has been a bit player the past few years.
Matt Reynolds – OT
Reynolds is a former BYU tackle with excellent size, but he just couldn’t find a spot in the rotation.
R.J. Stanford – CB
Stanford was a hold-over from the end of last year, and was mainly a special teamer. He’s got excellent athleticism and range, but was a disappointment in college and has yet to elevate his game at the highest level. He was brought back to see if he could improve, but he clearly didn’t do enough for the coaches to bring him back on for a full season.
David Nixon – LB
Nixon is an experienced, quality special teamer, but has the talent and make-up of a journey man. He just wasn’t good enough elsewhere (other than special teams) to stick in Carolina this year. Look for him to latch on somewhere else as a pure special teams body.
Darius Butler – CB
A former second-round pick, Butler couldn’t crack Carolina’s rotation in their secondary over the course of the preseason. Butler certainly isn’t without talent, but he’s never been consistent at the NFL level. He’ll get a job again soon based on potential alone.
That’s the latest on Panthers cuts, although we could see some more movement at receiver, defensive end, and in the secondary. It will also be interesting to see what Carolina does with third-stringer Jimmy Clausen, who has been a bust ever since being drafted as the team’s franchise quarterback. He did perform well against the Steelers in the preseason finale last night, however.