2 Carolina Panthers who could benefit from Murphy’s release

Dean Jones
(Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) Reggie Bonnafon
(Photo by Bobby Ellis/Getty Images) Reggie Bonnafon /
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Reggie Bonnafon, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) Reggie Bonnafon /

Who could benefit from Murphy’s release?

While it is never nice to see a player released from a roster. With an outgoing departure comes another opportunity for someone else. The Carolina Panthers have high hopes for the role Reggie Bonnafon can have behind Christian McCaffrey in 2020, which is further reflected in parting ways with Marcus Murphy.

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Bonnafon arrived in Carolina last summer after going undrafted in 2018. He made the most out of his chance to shine in the pros and earned himself a two-year deal with the franchise.

The former Louisville standout was a bit-part player in 2019 on his way to 16 carries for 117 yards and a touchdown. This included a lofty yards-per-carry average of 7.3 and securing two first downs.

This will do Bonnafon’s confidence the world of good as he looks to cement the No. 2 role. It appears head coach Matt Rhule believes he is capable of such a task and it will be up to the player to repay this faith.

Murphy’s departure could also open the door for undrafted free agent Rodney Smith. Minnesota’s record-rusher was a shrewd pick up by the Panthers following the draft and although he does not set the world on fire in terms of explosiveness. The incoming college prospect is a fluid runner who is more than capable of getting to the second level in short-yardage situations.

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This faith might change if Carolina’s decision-makers opt to sign an experienced free-agent to put behind their prized asset. But at least for now, both Bonnafon and Smith should use this unfortunate news as a source of inspiration ahead of a pivotal training camp for the pair.