3 Carolina Panthers who could be cut before playing a snap in 2023

John Penisini
John Penisini / Jason Getz-USA TODAY Sports
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Damiere Byrd - Carolina Panthers WR/KR

This would perhaps be more shocking than the aforementioned duo given how Damiere Byrd could have a seamless run to the starting kick returner position when one examines other depth chart options. But as head coach Frank Reich stated numerous times throughout early off-season workouts, everything will be earned from top to bottom across the roster.

Byrd is no stranger to the Carolina Panthers having played for the franchise over his first three seasons as a professional. He also managed to score a long touchdown against them for the Atlanta Falcons in 2022, which was thanks in no small part to some woeful effort on the part of C.J. Henderson.

While attaining reps on the pass-catching rotation is asking a lot given the options at Carolina's disposal, it's on special teams where Byrd might be able to make a significant difference. The Panthers have been seeking a prolific kick returner for some time and the former South Carolina star has the speed and elusiveness to fill the void with aplomb.

He won't have things easy with the likes of Marquez Stevenson, Shi Smith, and C.J. Saunders also vying for the same role. Byrd has experience on his side, but the Panthers won't hesitate to pull the plug on his return if they feel like someone else is a better alternative.

Byrd is not lacking in confidence that's for sure. He must make sure this doesn't result in any complacency when the time comes to take the field for training camp and in the preseason.