5 Panthers players facing a make-or-break offseason in 2021

Dean Jones
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) Cam Erving
(Photo by Katelyn Mulcahy/Getty Images) Cam Erving /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jonathan Bachman/Getty Images) Kenny Robinson /

Kenny Robinson – Carolina Panthers S

There was a substantial amount of excitement surrounding what Kenny Robinson could bring to the NFL after he emerged as one of the XFL’s best young players in 2019. The Carolina Panthers were suitably impressed and took the safety with their fifth-round pick last year, but despite having previous experience of a professional environment he couldn’t adapt quickly enough to make a difference.

Such was the level of disappointment regarding Robinson, the Panthers released him during the season before bringing him back on their practice squad. He got another one-year extension with no guaranteed money earlier this year and if the necessary improvements aren’t made, then his head might be one of those on the chopping block when it’s time for decisions to be made.

It wasn’t the easiest situation for any rookie to be walking into last summer.

COVID-19 put pay to any semblance of structure or formality. This left some wondering what they’d let themselves in for and Robinson didn’t acclimatize as many had hoped after a colorful route to the NFL.

The Panthers are willing to give him one last chance before moving on entirely. What comes next will ultimately come down to how Robinson reacts to a poor first year in the big leagues, where he found out in no uncertain terms that being a big fish in a small XFL pond doesn’t translate to instant production at the very top.