Carolina Panthers cut ties with Kalon Barnes
Matt Rhule took another of his former college players this offseason when Kalon Barnes became the team’s seventh-round selection. His athleticism and speed are absolutely off the charts, but the Baylor product was always seen as a development project that needed time to hone his craft.
The Carolina Panthers are fortunate to have some outstanding cornerbacks. Donte Jackson, Jaycee Horn, and C.J. Henderson could become a highly-productive trio, with the presence of Keith Taylor Jr. and Myles Hartsfield something else that should assist in nickel and dime packages throughout the campaign.
Barnes was expected to be on the fringes and used as a special teams gunner while getting key areas of his game up to speed under the guidance of defensive backs coach Steve Wilks. But after arguably his best practice of the summer the day before final cuts, the Panthers chose to waive the player rather than take him through onto their 53-man roster.
Carolina attempted to bring Barnes back onto the practice squad. However, the player took this opportunity to get away from Rhule and sign for the Miami Dolphins instead.
Whether Barnes can develop into a productive NFL cornerback is anyone’s guess at this point. If the Dolphins turn him into something, then Rhule and the Panthers will be kicking themselves despite the strength across their secondary.