Carolina Panthers final 53-man roster projection for 2021 season

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Christian McCaffrey /
11 of 11
Carolina Panthers
(Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports) Ryan Santoso /

Carolina Panthers ST (3)

  • Ryan Santoso (K), J.J. Jansen (LS), Joseph Charlton (P).

As Ryan Santoso pointed out in his press conference following the Pittsburgh Steelers game, the last few days have been something of a whirlwind. The kicker was acquired via trade from the New York Giants earlier this week, which launched him straight into a crucial battle with Joey Slye for the top job.

As it turned out, Santoso wrapped up the role early on Friday night thanks to some efficient successes and Slye once again going through some real complications.

The Carolina Panthers have no room for sentiment. So giving up a seventh-round pick to potentially solve their kicking problems is a risk worth taking.

Things are far more stable at the other kicking position. Joseph Charlton has enjoyed a fantastic preseason after performing superbly in 2020, so he could be the long-term punting option with another strong campaign this time around.

Then we have the long-snapper dilemma facing the Panthers in the coming days.

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Carolina drafted Thomas Fletcher in the sixth round and the Alabama product could take over responsibilities from the J.J. Jansen, the team’s longest-serving player. However, it might not be that clear-cut at the present moment and there is a good chance the veteran holds onto his job despite the rookie’s presence.