On Saturday, Carolina made 11 roster moves. Those moves will get the team’s talent total down to 79 players.
While there’s still plenty of work to be done, the first wave of cuts serves as a starting point in the grueling process. Among the list of departures are former Appalachian State running back Camerun Peoples, linebacker Bumper Pool and cornerback Rejzohn Wright.
Here are thoughts on all 11 roster cuts:
RB Camerun Peoples: The undrafted rookie saw few team reps in training camp this summer. He was also held out of the offense during the first two preseason games. This strategy was either a sign that Peoples just wasn’t ready to play, or the Panthers are trying to sneak him through the waiver wire to the practice squad. Peoples fumbled twice in the preseason finale against the Detroit Lions with just a handful of touches.
LB Bumper Pool: The undrafted rookie with the awesome name didn’t have a signature play in the preseason. Still, he’s a smart player with good instincts, and those traits could make him appealing to the Panthers on the practice squad.
S Josh Thomas: Like most of the well-traveled veterans on this list, Thomas fell victim to the numbers game in the secondary. He will look for practice-squad work elsewhere.
CB Rejzohn Wright: Despite being signed with much fanfare, Wright struggled to stop big plays during training camp and the preseason. The undrafted rookie is likely to pass through waivers and sign with a practice squad for additional development.
K Matthew Wright: Signed as a fill-in kicker for Eddy Piñeiro (groin), Wright did a solid job during the preseason. With kicker issues popping up around the league, Wright could end up getting claimed as a last resort for a team that is struggling with its specialists.
DT Antwuan Jackson: The former XFL defender bounced on and off the sideline throughout the summer as he battled injuries. It’s unclear whether he will be back on the practice squad or give the XFL another go in the spring.
QB Jake Luton: The former Jaguars quarterback was signed before the team’s third practice at Wofford College during training camp. He didn’t take team reps until the last few practices in Spartanburg. He then didn’t play in the preseason until the second game. Despite flashing a bit, he was waived in (likely) favor of last year’s third-round pick, Matt Corral.
OT Larnel Coleman: The former Miami Dolphins draft pick had an up-and-down summer. Another year on the practice squad could benefit him.
WR Gary Jennings: The former XFL standout made some plays in training camp and the preseason, but never seemed to separate from the pack in the competition at wideout. Jennings could get looks elsewhere before finding a home on a practice squad.
S Collin Duncan: The Panthers signed Duncan midway through the preseason. He only played in the finale and was largely a “camp” body.
WR C.J. Saunders: The practice-squad holdover might become a practice-squad mainstay after failing to make the Panthers’ 53-man roster. Saunders is a smart player with a college coaching background, so he could be useful behind the scenes on the practice squad.