CHARLOTTE - The Panthers made some difficult decisions Saturday in reducing their roster to 53 in advance of their regular season opener in eight days.
Quarterback Jimmy Clausen and wide receiver David Gettis were among four players waived/injured, and cornerback Drayton Florence was among a trio of terminated vested veterans.
Carolina drafted Clausen in the second round of the 2010 NFL Draft. He started 10 games as a rookie but has not appeared in a game since.
Gettis was a sixth-round draft choice in 2010. He played 15 games and recorded 37 catches as a rookie before missing the 2011 season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament. He appeared in only two games in 2012 due to a hamstring injury.
The Panthers opted to keep 10 offensive linemen. among them invited tryout
|T||Garrett Chisolm||1||South Carolina|
|TE||Dominique Curry||3||California (Pa.)|
|G||Hayworth Hicks||2||Iowa State|
|WR||Taulib Ikharo||1||Louisiana Tech|
|G||Tori Mobley||R||Jacksonville State|
|TE||Zack Pianalto||2||North Carolina|
|QB||Jimmy Clausen||4||Notre Dame|
|S||Anderson Russell||3||Ohio State|
|T||Patrick Brown||3||Central Florida|
|LB||Jason Williams||5||Western Illinois|
Here's a position-by-position look at the roster:
The Panthers decided to use a roster spot reserved for a third quarterback in recent years on another position. The odd man out was former second-round draft pick Jimmy Clausen, who hadn't been active for a game either of the last two seasons.
RUNNING BACKS (4):
WIDE RECEIVERS (5):
The always-debated position will be again with the decision to waive/injured David Gettis, whose strong preseason came to a screeching halt with a hamstring injury before the finale. It will be interesting to see how Edwards, Ginn and Hixon stack up in the rotation.
TIGHT ENDS (4):
No surprises here after the initial surprise of Williams rising from a medical problem that ended his college career prematurely to become a training camp standout. Hartsock and Brockel are key blockers.
OFFENSIVE LINEMEN (10):
With Silatolu slowed by a hamstring injury, Wharton and Scott are technically the only two healthy guards, but Wharton and Williams – technically listed as a tackle – are the starters for now. Jeff Byers, one of three centers along with Ryan Kalil and former tryout player Brian Folkerts, can play guard as well. Chandler, a converted defensive lineman, is the top tackle backup as long as Williams is in the lineup at right guard.
DEFENSIVE ENDS (5):
The starters and their immediate backups were firmly entrenched and ready to roll. Then there's Horton, an undrafted rookie out of Southern California who made enough plays in the preseason to make the cut.
DEFENSIVE TACKLES (4):
A significantly upgraded position group from this time last year. Once
Veteran Jason Williams, a good special teams player capable of contributing on defense as well, was in the running for a spot. But all the reserve linebackers are good special teams players, as are several members of the secondary.
There just wasn't enough room for everybody in the secondary, where the Panthers kept 10 players. White, an undrafted player, was the one rookie to survive. That didn't leave room for veteran Drayton Florence, who started the first three preseason games.
The odd man out here was second-year player D.J. Campbell, considered a potential starter at strong safety before Mitchell established himself. Nakamura and Jones are invaluable on special teams and both made the best of their chances on defense.
The trio entered the final preseason game knowing they had secured a spot after their backups were waived in the initial roster cutdown. With reliable long snapper Jansen setting them up, Gano hit all eight of his field goals and Nortman averaged 49.1 yards per punt in preseason.
Senior writer Bryan Strickland and staff writer Max Henson contributed to this report.