Why did the Carolina Panthers release WR David Moore?

(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) David Moore
(Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports) David Moore /

David Moore’s tenure with the Carolina Panthers didn’t last long, but why did the wide receiver not make it through into the regular season?

One of the more enticing free-agent pickups by the Carolina Panthers was the acquisition of David Moore. The wide receiver emerged as a valuable contributor and a trusted target of quarterback Russell Wilson on the Seattle Seahawks, with new general manager Scott Fitterer putting his previous knowledge of the player to good use by bringing him on board.

However, after making the initial 53-man roster, Moore was surprisingly cut loose to make way for interior offensive lineman Michael Jordan after he was waived by the Cincinnati Bengals.

This came across as a strange move. Especially considering the Panthers are dealing with an injury to Shi Smith and the struggles Brandon Zylstra endured in the preseason.

Moore is sure to be picked up by someone else quickly. His ability to impact a game all over the field is normally a hot commodity, one that Carolina eventually determined surplus to requirements in 2021.

Another area where Moore was set to help out is in the return game. He was the No. 1 return option heading into training camp and didn’t do much wrong in the grand scheme of things.

There were other potential cut candidates rather than Moore. But the coaching staff have placed a strong emphasis on picking fringe depth chart pieces that can make their presence felt on special teams, which Zylstra can arguably do better.

Even though this wouldn’t be considered by much. Roster building in the NFL is full of fine margins such as this.

Carolina Panthers got outstanding production from their rookie WR duo this offseason.

Perhaps a bigger factor than this was the progression shown by Smith and second-round selection Terrace Marshall Jr. this offseason.

Both rookies showed their promises with some highlight displays. Marshall, in particular, was sensational and surpassed Moore as the third passing attack wideout option behind D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson.

This is an unfortunate part of the business. And it wouldn’t be a surprise if the Panthers make another move or two before attention turned to their Week 1 clash against the New York Jets.

Moore now becomes another name on the free-agent market for teams to potentially acquire. Getting another chance at the earliest possible opportunity would be beneficial – especially considering the timescale involved – but it’s no guarantee by any stretch.

Carolina is now hoping that their core pass-catchers – Christian McCaffrey included – can stay healthy throughout what promises to be a grueling 17-game schedule. They can ill-afford one of them missing significant time after depleting their options by releasing Moore.

Only time will tell as to whether this was the right move or not. The Panthers have been extremely aggressive in their recruitment process this offseason, removing players such as Greg Little, Will Grier, and Denzel Perryman in favor of others with less experience.

Moore has now been added to this list and won’t get a chance to play a competitive down for the Panthers. An unfortunate turn of events, especially as there were high hopes for the player when this initial move was confirmed.

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The Panthers are clearly not sitting on their hands in a bid to become a surprising playoff contender in 2021. Make no mistake, every single member of the roster should feel an increased sense of urgency as a result.