CHARLOTTE – In cutting the roster down to 53, the Panthers have opted to go with just two quarterbacks entering the season for the first time since 2013.
Quarterback and special teams contributor Joe Webb, who has served as the third-stringer behind Cam Newton and Derek Anderson for the last three years, has been released. The fourth quarterback, Garrett Gilbert, has been waived.
"That was one of the hardest, if not the hardest decision we had to make because of Joe Webb and what he brings to the football team, not only as a quarterback but as a special teams player," interim GM Marty Hurney said. "Joe's going to play in this league. He's going to be on a team very soon. It just came down to a numbers decision."
Other big decisions were made in regards to the specialists. Michael Palardy won the punting competition over veteran Andy Lee, but both kickers – veteran Graham Gano and rookie Harrison Butker – remain on the roster. That seems unlikely to continue for long as teams typically only carry two kickers if one is considered a kickoff specialist, and that doesn't appear to be the case here.
In addition to Webb and Lee, vested veteran fullback Darrel Young was released.
Three players who were on the 53-man roster last season were placed on injured reserve – wide receiver Brenton Bersin, center Gino Gradkowski and guard Chris Scott – as was safety L.J. McCray. Defensive end Larry Webster, who made his NFL debut in last year's finale, was among the 16 players waived.
Below is a look at the complete list of Friday and Saturday's transactions to get the roster to the 53-man limit.
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