Could Trenton Cannon be the Carolina Panthers’ secret weapon at WR?

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Trenton Cannon
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Trenton Cannon /

Could the Carolina Panthers have a secret receiving weapon on their hands in Trenton Cannon next season?

Curtis Samuel’s departure in free agency to the Washington Football Team has already been offset by the Carolina Panthers. They brought in some quality reinforcements during the offseason and if all hit the ground running, then it could collectively see them eclipse the Ohio State product’s production in 2020.

Much will depend on what transpires throughout Panthers training camp. This is always a time of year where players rise to the occasion and improve their chances or wilt under the pressure to find themselves looking for a new home.

The wideout room will be one of the most exciting to watch at camp. But the Panthers might also have a big surprise not a lot of teams will see coming when competitive action gets underway.

According to multiple reports from media in attendance, Trenton Cannon has been working primarily as a wide receiver despite being listed as a running back.

Cannon was used sparingly by Carolina last season, gaining just 10 carries and three targets from 14 games – none of which he started.

The former sixth-round pick returned 10 kicks throughout the year, recording an average of 29.8 yards. His chances of more reps this time around look bleak thanks to Christian McCaffrey’s return and Chuba Hubbard being selected in the fourth round, so it seems as if the player is eager to carve out a different role for himself.

One could argue earning targets as a wide receiver is even more difficult. Carolina has two dynamic weapons on the outside in D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, coupled with three players almost guaranteed to make the team in David Moore, Terrace Marshall Jr., and Shi Smith.

This leaves one or two spots available, depending on how many passing weapons the Panthers take through onto the 53-man roster.

Cannon deserves a tremendous amount of credit for taking on this new challenge. He’s made a solid impression over the first two sessions at camp, although it remains to be seen how he will fare once tempo noticeably rises in the stifling heat at Wofford College next week.

All the player can do is keep learning, make a difference when his number is called and stand out during whatever time Cannon sees on the field in preseason games.

This is yet another fascinating sideshow to keep an eye on in the coming weeks. Cannon is elusive, can make things happen in open space, and assured hands that could become a dependable target.

Whether this is going to result in Cannon making the team is unclear. It would still be a massive surprise, but stranger things have happened at this stage of the offseason.

The Panthers love versatility in their players. Something that Cannon has already demonstrated during his time with the organization.

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And as the old saying goes. If you don’t buy a ticket, you can’t win the lottery.