5 Panthers players who could be surprise cuts this offseason

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

Stephen Weatherly – Carolina Panthers DE

  • Cap saving – $4.55 million

There were high hopes for Stephen Weatherly this season after he decided to join the Carolina Panthers in free agency. The defensive end penned a two-year, $12.5 million deal to prise him away from the Minnesota Vikings, where he had performed well in a rotational role behind Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter.

Sadly for the player and the Panthers, it just hasn’t worked out.

Weatherly struggled to generate consistent pressure opposite Brian Burns and he simply didn’t have that necessary spark needed to make the most out of this opportunity. He failed to record a single sack before going on IR and the $4.55 million salary-cap saving will almost certainly make Carolina think twice about keeping him around for the final year of his contract.

This would be a surprise for two reasons:

  • Expectations before the season.
  • And the lack of depth at the position.

The Panthers will need to ensure that the necessary reinforcements are put in place before making such a move. Weatherly might not be cut out to fill a starting role. But the former seventh-round pick has a proven track record of making a difference in a lesser role behind two studs at the position.

Carolina already has one in Burns. And there is every chance Yetur Gross-Matos can become just that with more good fortune in 2021.