QB Jimmy Clausen and CB Drayton Florence were among some familiar names to be cut by the Carolina Panthers to squeeze down to their final 53-man roster.
Jimmy Clausen was realeased after spending 3 years with the team. Drafted in the second round in the 2010 draft out of Notre Dame, he entered the league with questions about his overall character and maturity. In a somewhat infamous interview with former Raiders and Bucs head man and QB guru Jon Gruden, Clausen raised Gruden’s ire with his game film from college, which Gruden called “a disgrace to you, a disgrace to the university of Notre Dame, and it’s a disgrace to football.”
One particularly telling spot was when Clausen blamed his receiver for “running the wrong route” during one of his interceptions on that film. Gruden explained to the clueless young man that everything starts and stops at the NFL level with the quarterback. Throwing a teammate under the bus is not “leadership,” and then started his rant.
Clausen never was an NFL success, leading the team to their worst record ever his rookie season, a 2-14 campaign that brought Cam Newton to Charlotte the following season.
Cornerback Drayton Florence’s release was somewhat of a surprise as he was signed to a million-dollar contract for 2013 and was expected to compete for a starting spot or shore up some depth at the very least. Actually, I believe his release is a good sign, as it shows that some of the younger players (like my favorite Carolina DB, Captain Munnerlyn) and the two Joshes (Norman and Thomas) have probably stepped up enough for the coaches to have confidence in their play and depth to release Florence.
Also released was WR Kealoha Pilares, a reserve WR who showed some flashes of ability in the preseason but never has been a receiver that would “wow” people with his play.
Other released players include OT Bruce Campbell (the DT position changer), P Jordan Gay, and S Ricorda Silva. The complete lists for all the teams can be found over on NFL.com