5 Carolina Panthers players lucky to escape Dan Morgan's roster cull

These Carolina Panthers players should be breathing a sigh of relief...
Miles Sanders
Miles Sanders / Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports
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Miles Sanders - Carolina Panthers RB

To say Miles Sanders' first season with the Carolina Panthers didn't go according to plan would be an understatement. The running back came in with big ambitions to be a legitimate three-down threat - something the franchise desperately needed after trading Christian McCaffrey to the San Francisco 49ers. Unfortunately, these bold claims didn't come with any substance attached.

Sanders was playing hurt over the early part of the season, but the explosiveness and conviction he displayed during a Pro Bowl campaign with the Philadelphia Eagles in 2022 had deserted him. The former second-round pick lost his starting job to Chuba Hubbard and couldn't get it back. Simply put, his first season in Carolina was an unmitigated disaster.

Many wondered whether that would be the last they saw of Sanders. Dan Morgan cut the likes of Hayden Hurst and Vonn Bell after just one season. At least for now, the Penn State product is getting a reprieve.

The Panthers recently paid Sanders' roster bonus of $2 million guaranteed. That seems to suggest he'll be on the 53-man roster, but whether he can improve his production under new head coach Dave Canales is another matter.

Terrace Marshall Jr. - Carolina Panthers WR

Terrace Marshall Jr.'s presence on the roster right now is also surprising. The wide receiver couldn't firmly establish himself in Year 3 of his professional career and handed in a trade request when opportunities became scarce. This left him firmly on the chopping block as Dan Morgan looked to galvanize a squad in desperate need of fresh faces.

Marshall is still around, but for how much longer remains to be seen. Much has been made about how strong the 2024 NFL Draft appears from a wide receiver standpoint. If the Panthers can get their hands on one or two playmakers capable of contributing immediately, it'll push the former second-round selection out of LSU further down the depth chart.

It's a disappointing scenario. Marshall has the physical tools needed to make a significant difference but hasn't been able to generate any prolonged momentum. While the player is back with his teammates for the start of offseason workouts, he'll be nervously looking over his shoulder heading into the draft as the Panthers look to surround quarterback Bryce Young with more consistent weapons in the passing game.

If this comes to fruition, it's hard to envisage a scenario where Marshall factors much into Dave Canales' plans moving forward.