Dockery on release of Godfrey: 'If we don't perform, it could be any one of us'

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – The decision to cut veteran defensive back Charles Godfrey on Tuesday left two impressions on the Carolina Panthers' locker room.

No. 1, nobody’s job is safe.

No. 2, Godfrey wasn’t cut out to be a cornerback.

But the first impression was the strongest for a Carolina defense that has allowed 37 or more points in four of the last five games and gone from one of the best in the league to one of the worst.

“It’s definitely hard to see him go, but at the same time we know it’s a business," said James Dockery, who will replace Godfrey as the nickel cornerback until rookie Bene’ Benwikere returns from an ankle injury.

“And if we don’t perform, it could be any one of us."

Free safety Thomas DeCoud agreed.

“It’s just a wake-up call," he said. “You know anybody’s number can be called. It’s the nature of the business, what we signed up for. You’ve got to take it with a grain of salt and keep fighting."

If that’s the message players got, coach Ron Rivera isn’t complaining.

“Any time moves are made and different things you do get player’s attention, it’s always a positive," he said. “This business really is about production. It’s tough sometimes, for whatever the reason being. The unintended consequences sometimes can be valuable."

Godfrey played safety from 2008 until his 2013 season ended with an Achilles injury in Week 2 He took a $4 million cut in salary during the offseason and was moved to cornerback.

He was the starting nickel corner the past two weeks with Benwikere sidelined.

He didn’t produce. He had three missed tackles in Sunday’s 38-17 loss at Green Bay and was victimized repeatedly on third down the previous week in a 37-37 tie against Cincinnati.

That’s where the second impression came in for several players.

“He was kind of out of position," cornerback Josh Norman said. “I think we all knew that. But at the same time, it’s one of those things where it’s the nature of the business. It’s the nature of the beast. It sucks when that happens. You’ve got to find a way to bounce back from it, which I know Godfrey will.

“He’s a safety, man. He can play it. He started in this league for how many years? That’s hard to do.”