Has Stephen Weatherly played his last down for the Carolina Panthers?

(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Stephen Weatherly
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Stephen Weatherly /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images) Stephen Weatherly /

Weatherly’s production for the Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers were counting on Stephen Weatherly to become the veteran presence on the defensive edge following a host of departures in free agency. But he has failed to make any sort of impact for a team that has just nine sacks on the season.

Four of these have come from stud pass-rusher Brian Burns, which is a further example of the lack of viable options capable of getting after the quarterback in Carolina. Weatherly has not generated a sack despite starting every game and there was every chance he would be phased out of the rotation down the stretch in any case with second-rounder Yetur Gross-Matos returning from a high ankle sprain.

This isn’t what the Panthers expected when they acquired Weatherly in free agency. They didn’t have much in the way of financial wiggle room due to their salary-cap constraints and getting him to the organization was their biggest spend on the defensive side of the ball.

Weatherly ends the year on IR and with no sacks, three quarterback hits, one tackle for loss, nine pressures, and seven solo tackles His three missed tackles were 15 percent of his attempts, and this all came from 61 percent of Carolina’s defensive snaps.

If the player was looking to prove his worth as an NFL starter and more than just a rotational piece, he didn’t exactly make a strong case.