4 shocking cuts from the Carolina Panthers' initial 53-man roster in 2023

There was definitely a shock or two.
Scott Fitterer
Scott Fitterer / Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
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Carolina Panthers cut Deion Jones

One of the strangest moves made by the Carolina Panthers as part of the cutting process centered around Deion Jones. The veteran linebacker was an intriguing addition to the set-up just as training camp opened and he immediately began seeing work with the first-string defense to further raise optimism.

Jones didn't appear to be out of place whatsoever and looked like he could be an asset on blitz packages within Ejiro Evero's 3-4 base scheme. But when push came to shove, the Panthers weren't entirely convinced and parted ways with the Pro Bowler before he'd played a competitive down.

This was seen as good news for former fourth-round selection Brandon Smith, but he got cut too. Those in power were clearly more impressed with the likes of Chandler Wooten and Kamu Grugier-Hill as second-level options, with the prospect of another body coming in off the waiver wire distinctly possible if the right opportunities present themselves.

As for Jones, he's experienced enough to get another gig and fit in seamlessly. This news probably came as a shock to him too after getting some significant praise from head coach Frank Reich for his early integration, but this is all part of the business.

Considering Jones' age, a place on the practice squad seems unlikely. That might be saved for Smith if the player's still available after the first batch of waivers.