4 possible reasons the Panthers traded Denzel Perryman to the Raiders

(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Denzel Perryman
(Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports) Denzel Perryman /
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Carolina Panthers
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What are some of the factors behind Denzel Perryman being traded by the Carolina Panthers without playing a competitive snap for the franchise?

As it turned out, Denzel Perryman’s time with the Carolina Panthers was short-lived. The linebacker was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders late on Wednesday along with a seventh-rounder in exchange for a sixth-round selection, ending a 162-day stint with the organization that didn’t see him take the field for a meaningful snap.

This is all part of the new regime’s ethos. If a certain Panthers player isn’t contributing, find someone else who will.

There were high hopes for Perryman when he signed in free agency from the Los Angeles Chargers. Considering the disappointing production of Tahir Whitehead from the inside linebacker position in the immediate aftermath of Luke Kuechly’s retirement, the former Miami star had a primary opportunity to prove beyond all doubt he could become a valuable starter.

He still might with the Raiders. Reuniting with Gus Bradley will also help.

But the Panthers were clearly unwilling to wait around and it’s costing them $2 million in dead-cap money over the next two years.

Without further ado, here are some reasons that could have persuaded Carolina to send Perryman on his way.

Reason No. 1

Carolina Panthers
(Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports) Denzel Perryman /

Denzel Perryman’s vaccination status

We’ll keep this short. And everyone has the right to choose whether to become vaccinated against COVID-19 or not.

But the simple fact of the matter is it’s a real disadvantage not having vaccinated players and something that could significantly jeopardize a team’s chances of progression after strict rules and restrictions were implemented by the NFL.

Perryman opened his first training camp in Carolina by declaring he wasn’t vaccinated with the now famous, “I’ve got nothing against it, I’m just not doing it” statement.

Considering how many Panthers players are bought into the program and Matt Rhule also declaring the importance of gaining this advantage collectively, it’s left Perryman on the outside looking in.

There was more to it, obviously. But it would be foolish to suggest this didn’t come up in the discussion at some stage.