5 Carolina Panthers candidates to be cut going into the summer

Could the end be near for these Carolina Panthers players?
Eddy Pineiro
Eddy Pineiro / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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Eddy Pineiro - Carolina Panthers K

There is a growing belief from those on the outside looking in that Eddy Pineiro's status with the Carolina Panthers is hanging by a thread. The veteran faces a fight for his roster spot after those in power swooped to sign Harrison Mevis when the undrafted free-agent frenzy commenced. His impressive start to OTAs turned up the heat in no uncertain terms.

One would have expected Pineiro to respond by showing up and leaving no doubt as to his importance. Instead, the former Florida star opted to prepare away from the team. Something that didn't go overlooked by head coach Dave Canales, who revealed that he hadn't spoken to the inconsistent kicker about his absence.

This opens the door wider for Mevis to impress. The Panthers will likely give Pineiro a fighting chance once he's required to take the field for Carolina's mandatory minicamp. However, the margin for error has gone from slim to almost non-existent in pursuit of seeing out his contract.

Mevis has the momentum. If Pineiro cannot rectify this quickly when he gets back into the facility, the Panthers could easily cut him loose and move forward with the popular rookie.

Stephen Sullivan - Carolina Panthers TE

There will be an odd man out in the tight end room at some stage. The Carolina Panthers appear confident in Tommy Tremble's capabilities with additional reps and targets. Those in power also took Ja'Tavion Sanders at No. 101 overall in the 2024 NFL Draft to potentially make an instant impact in the passing game with a smooth transition.

One cannot be anything other than impressed by the way Ian Thomas is catching the eye throughout early OTAs. The veteran's flattered to deceive before, so it'll be interesting to see if he can keep this up and force his way into Dave Canales' plans.

No matter which way it goes for Thomas, things aren't looking especially promising for Stephen Sullivan. The former seventh-round selections spent years in Carolina trying to carve out a prominent role for himself to no avail. If things don't improve quickly, general manager Dan Morgan could see this as the perfect time to go in a different direction.

Sullivan's got some intriguing physical traits, but it simply hasn't come together consistently enough. He now looks further down the depth chart than ever before thanks to Sanders' arrival.