5 Carolina Panthers players who could be among first cuts in 2021

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Micah Simon
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Micah Simon /
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Carolina Panthers
(Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports) Doug Middleton /

Doug Middleton – Carolina Panthers S

Doug Middleton hasn’t been around the Carolina Panthers for long. So this might seem a little harsh on the veteran safety.

However, there is no room for sentiment when it comes to putting together a competitive NFL roster.

Middleton was brought into the organization after the Panthers opted to cut J.T. Ibe following his controversial hit on Keith Kirkwood that put the wide receiver in hospital and out with a concussion. Although there’s been nothing wrong with the way he’s settled in, it was always going to be a tough ask to catch the eye in a limited time frame.

There is Middleton’s experience to consider with this move. He was solid if not spectacular during his time with the Jacksonville Jaguars, which is something other safeties on the roster cannot boast.

Someone right on the fringes like Middleton knew the situation before agreeing to join the Panthers. But only the coaching staff knows for sure what the player’s immediate future holds.

The former Appalachian State star – who has also played for the New York Jets and Miami Dolphins – would be an easy choice given his unfamiliarity with the system. Middleton hasn’t had many reps in Carolina and could well return to the free-agent scrapheap in the coming days.