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Carolina Panthers release their 53-man roster for the 2021 season

Justin Rudolph08/31/21
Article written by:On3 imageJustin Rudolph

With the preseason over and the kickoff to the regular season right around the corner, the Carolina Panthers have made their final roster cuts. These are the 53 that made it to the Panthers opening day roster.

QUARTERBACK (2): Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker

After being traded to the Panthers in the offseason, Sam Darnold will take over as the signal-caller.

RUNNING BACK (3): Christian McCaffrey, Chuba Hubbard, Trenton Cannon

McCaffrey will be the team’s feature back. A role he fully took over in his sophomore season in the NFL. The Panther do not have a fullback on the roster currently.

WIDE RECEIVER (6): DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, Terrace Marshall Jr., David Moore, Brandon Zylstra, Shi Smith

DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, Terrace Marshall Jr. will be the three starters at wideout this season. Anderson played with Carolina’s new starting quarterback in New York, with the Jets.

TIGHT END (4): Dan Arnold, Ian Thomas, Tommy Tremble, Colin Thompson

Arnold beat out Thomas and Tremble for the right to claim the starting position at tight end. Arnold signed with the Panthers this offseason after spending last year with the Arizona Cardinals.

OFFENSIVE LINE (9): Taylor Moton (T), Cameron Erving (T), Trent Scott (T), Brady Christensen (T-G), Pat Elflein (G), John Miller (G), Dennis Daley (G), Deonte Brown (G-C), Matt Paradis (C)

(From left to right) Erving, Elflein, Paradis, Miller, and Moton will be heading out there to clear paths for their all-pro running back in McCaffrey while and simultaneously keep Darnold from running for his life.

DEFENSIVE END (4): Brian Burns, Morgan Fox, Yetur Gross-Matos, Marquis Haynes

Burns and former Los Angeles Ram Morgan Fox will be the starting end in the Panthers’ 4-3 defensive set.

DEFENSIVE TACKLE (4): Derrick Brown, DaQuan Jones, Bravvion Roy, Daviyon Nixon

Jones and Brown will get the starting nods at defensive tackle. But expect to see a lot of Roy in the rotation too.

LINEBACKER (5): Shaq Thompson, Haason Reddick, Jermaine Carter Jr., Frankie Luvu, Julian Stanford

Thompson (weak), Carter (middle), and Reddick (strong) are your starters for this group. However, expect to see Jeremy Chinn line up at linebacker from time to time this season.

CORNERBACK (6): Jaycee Horn, Donte Jackson, Rashaan Melvin, A.J. Bouye, Keith Taylor, Stantley Thomas-Oliver III

Horn Jr., son of the former New Orleans Saints receiver, and Jackson will handle the responsibilities on the outside. While A.J Bouye will start at the nickel.  

SAFETY (3): Jeremy Chinn, Juston Burris, Sam Franklin

Chinn (strong) and Burris (free) round out the defensive starters at safety. But look for Chinn to lineup all over the field for Carolina this season.

SPECIALISTS (3): Ryan Santoso (PK), Joseph Charlton (P), J.J. Jansen (LS)

After just trading for Santoso less than a week ago, he will take over at kicker for Joey Slye.

Panthers made a wave of cuts this morning

On Tuesday afternoon, the Panthers cut safety Kenny Robinson, cornerback Rashaan Melvin and running backs Reggie Bonnafon and Rodney Smith.

Of the three, Melvin has been around the longest. The 31-year-old went undrafted in 2013 out of Northern Illinois. He played for the Huskies during the stretch where they won at least 11 games a year from 2010-2014. Melvin played in 64 games with five NFL teams since 2014 and recorded 244 tackles, four tackles for loss and four interceptions.

Additionally, former Alabama long snapper and rookie Thomas Fletcher was not cut this afternoon but has been placed on IR for the season for a hip injury.

Former West Virginia and Florida quarterback Will Grier was cut earlier this morning. Other morning cuts include veteran linebacker Josh Bynes, wide receiver Omar Bayless, running back Spencer Brown, defensive lineman Frank Herron, offensive lineman Mike Horton, cornerback Jalen Julius, wide receiver Keith Kirkwood, outside linebacker Christian Miller, offensive lineman Aaron Monteiro, wide receiver C.J. Saunders, tight end Stephen Sullivan, and offensive lineman Sam Tecklenburg.