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Panthers make more roster moves

Posted Sep 4, 2011

CHARLOTTE - The Panthers parted ways with five more players Sunday, among them defensive end Everette Brown, to make room for five players claimed off waivers.

Carolina got some help for the defensive front with the addition of defensive tackle Marcus Harrison (previously with the Chicago Bears) and defensive end George Selvie (St. Louis Rams). The team also improved its depth in the secondary with the acquisition of safety Stevie Brown (Oakland Raiders) and cornerback Josh Thomas (Dallas Cowboys).

The Panthers also added former San Diego Chargers wide receiver Seyi Ajirotutu while releasing receiver David Clowney. Carolina also released safety Kevin Payne and waived undrafted rookies Bryant Browning (offensive lineman) and Thomas Keiser (defensive end).

The Panthers had high hopes for Brown when they picked him in the second round, No. 43 overall, of the 2009 draft out of Florida State. But the Stantonsburg, N.C., native started just three games over his two seasons, recording 59 tackles with six sacks, 24 quarterbacks pressures, three forced fumbles and one interception.

Brown's final two plays of 2010 resulted in sacks of Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan, but the second one resulted in a wrist injury that ended his season.

Clowney was claimed off waivers from the New York Jets last October, and the former Virginia Tech standout saw the field in 10 games, catching six passes for 102 yards.
 
Sunday's new additions bring with them some interesting possibilities.

Harrison, a 6-3, 316-pound defensive tackle, was the Bears' third-round selection (No. 90 overall) in the 2008 draft and recorded 52 tackles and three sacks while seeing action in all 32 games his first two seasons.

Last season, however, Harrison played in just five games, recording one tackle. Still, he's a physical specimen when healthy and in shape, and he worked with Panthers defensive line coach Eric Washington in Chicago last season.

On the end, Selvie brings some promise. The 6-4, 251-pounder is the only two-time All-American in South Florida history. The Rams picked him in the seventh round of the 2010 draft and he played in all 16 games as a rookie, recording 19 tackles with 1.5 sacks.

The Panthers kept just three defensive tackles when they set their initial 53-man roster Saturday but shored that up Sunday with the addition of Harrison. It was much the same at cornerback, where Harris will become the team's fourth option.

A fifth-round pick by the Cowboys in the 2011, Harris was a reliable cover corner at the University of Buffalo, where he ranks fifth in school history with 27 pass break-ups. He played in the 2011 East-West Shrine Game.

The secondary – as well as special teams - also could get a boost from Brown, a seventh-round pick by the Raiders in 2010 out of Michigan. A safety and linebacker in college, Brown played in 15 games with one start as a rookie, recording 30 tackles. He ranked second on the team with 15 special teams tackles.

The addition of Ajirotutu gives Carolina two receivers who played for Panthers offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski in San Diego last season.

Undrafted out of Fresno State in 2010, Ajirotutu played in 10 games as a rookie and put up similar numbers to those recorded by earlier Panthers acquisition Legedu Naanee, catching 13 passes for 262 yards and two touchdowns. Naanee had 23 catches for 371 yards and one touchdown in 2010.

The Panthers still aren't done. They must sign an eight-man practice squad and could still make changes to the 53-man roster with several veterans who were released on Saturday eligible to sign as free agents.