Carolina Panthers trim roster to 53, release ex-Pro Bowler Deion Jones

All NFL rosters must be cut down to 53 players by 4 p.m. Tuesday.
Brandon Smith, Taylor and Thomas-Oliver were all recent Panthers draft picks, albeit mid-to-late-round selections.
Published: Aug. 29, 2023 at 1:26 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - The Carolina Panthers have completed their finalized 53-man roster for the upcoming season.

Ahead of Tuesday’s 4 p.m. roster cut deadline, the team had already parted ways with more than 30 players this week.

A handful of notable cuts include linebackers Deion Jones and Brandon Smith, cornerbacks Keith Taylor and Stantley Thomas-Oliver, and wide receiver Shi Smith.

Jones, who was signed on July 31, is a former Pro Bowler with the Atlanta Falcons, and spent the 2022 season with the Cleveland Browns. He was brought in as some needed depth at the linebacker position, but for whatever reason, didn’t stick in Carolina.

Brandon Smith, Taylor and Thomas-Oliver were all recent Panthers draft picks, albeit mid-to-late-round selections.

Shi Smith, who was drafted in the sixth round in 2021 out of the University of South Carolina, showed flashes of potential late last season, and was given opportunities to return kicks last year and this preseason, but found himself the odd man out in a suddenly crowded receiver room.

Other notable cuts include offensive lineman Michael Jordan, who was with the Panthers for the past two seasons and played in 28 games, including 10 starts, over that span.

Preseason and training camp star Spencer Brown also found himself on the wrong side of the chopping block, but figures to be a candidate to return on the practice squad if he clears waivers.

Former Super Bowl champion Eric Rowe was also released after signing with Carolina this offseason.

Other roster spots were cleared up after the team placed guard Austin Corbett on the reserve/PUP list and put defensive lineman Henry Anderson on injured reserve.

As it stands now, Carolina currently has seven receivers on its roster with three cuts remaining. One of those is Ihmir Smith-Marsette, who led the NFL in receiving yards during the preseason and also figures to play into the kick-returning competition.

The Panthers also currently have five tight ends listed on the roster, headlined by newcomer Hayden Hurst.

Quarterback Matt Corral, who entered the offseason on the hot seat after the team drafted Bryce Young and signed Andy Dalton, is also currently listed on the team’s roster with just a few cuts remaining. It is possible Carolina enters the season with all three, but a Corral trade or release wouldn’t come as a huge surprise.

The Panthers traded up for the former Ole Miss signal-caller in the third round of last year’s draft, however, he sustained a season-ending injury last preseason and has yet to take a regular-season snap in the NFL.

Despite the 4 p.m. roster deadline, the roster submitted today could look different than the one on Sept. 10 when Carolina opens the regular season against the division-rival Atlanta Falcons.

Trades, waiver claims or free-agent signings could all be avenues head coach Frank Reich takes to bolster the team’s depth.

Related: No. 1 pick Bryce Young looks sharp, throws first TD pass in final tuneup for regular season

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