5 Panthers players who could be cut during 2021 training camp

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Deonte Brown and Mike Panasiuk
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Deonte Brown and Mike Panasiuk /
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Carolina Panthers
(Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports) C.J. Saunders /

C.J. Saunders – Carolina Panthers WR

It was something of a surprise to see the Carolina Panthers bring another wide receiver given their current options. C.J. Saunders has a lot of likable traits, but it’s hard to gauge what sort of role – if any – he has with the team in 2021.

Saunders was a team captain at Ohio State that had his plans for a potential sixth season of eligibility denied by the NCAA, which was followed by the player going undrafted in 2020 and failing to make an impression during a brief stint with the Atlanta Falcons.

This might be Saunders’ last chance to carve out a role for himself at the next level.

That might seem harsh. But the NFL is a cutthroat business and there is always the next crop of college recruits coming in to try and make an impression.

The Panthers lost Curtis Samuel in free agency, which was offset by the arrivals of David Moore, Terrace Marshall Jr., and Shi Smith.

Fringe players were also brought back, Micah Simon signed after impressing at BYU’s pro day and there is also plenty of excitement to see what Omar Bayless can do now he is fully recovered from a knee injury that prevented him from making the roster in 2020.

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It’s going to take a monumental effort from Saunders to force his way up the depth chart. But his time with the Panthers could end sooner than expected if those in power come to the conclusion that more is needed elsewhere.