Saturday, September 5, 2009
Panthers: Cutdown analysis
By Pat Yasinskas
Posted by ESPN.com’s Pat Yasinskas
Biggest surprise: Jeremy Leman was an instant hit with fans in the preseason. He moved quickly around the field, made some nice hits and made himself even more noticeable with celebrations after he made plays. But celebrations don’t earn you a roster spot and there were reasons why Leman wasn’t drafted and why he was cut Saturday. Leman looked good competing against third-stringers, but he wasn’t nearly at the level of starter Jon Beason and backup Dan Connor. Leman may end up on the practice squad and could develop into something over time.
No-brainer: Did you really think defensive tackle Marlon Favorite was going to make the team as an undrafted free agent? Sure, he was one of the first guys the Panthers plugged in when Maake Kemoeatu went down with an injury on the first day of camp. But that’s only because Favorite was there. Even with rookie Corvey Irvin going on the injured-reserve list, the Panthers knew Favorite wasn’t ready to solve their problems at defensive tackle. They might not be done there yet because all they have is Damione Lewis, who really isn’t an every-down player, Nick Hayden and Louis Leonard, who they traded for last week. But the Panthers got a long look at Favorite in the preseason and decided they probably can find someone better somewhere else.
What’s left: The Panthers shed some very good offensive line depth in the offseason when they let Geoff Hangartner, Jeremy Bridges and Frank Omiyale go. They have high hopes for Geoff Schwartz and Mackenzy Bernadeau, but they’re young and inexperienced. The Panthers didn’t bring in any veterans because they had limited cap space. They still don’t have a lot, but they could look to add a veteran who was cut by someone else at a minimal price.