Carolina Panthers sign Deion Jones
General manager Scott Fitterer is never one for sitting on his hands. The Carolina Panthers have been aggressive while keeping their salary-cap flexibility this offseason, which has enabled the front office figure to explore every possible avenue in the hope of improving Frank Reich's roster in 2023.
This proved to be the case on a busy Monday of transactions. The Panthers first announced the signing of defensive lineman LaBryan Ray following a successful tryout, which resulted in Bravvion Roy being shown the door after three seasons with the franchise.
Roy was one of the last remaining former Matt Rhule college players around. But unfortunately for the Baylor product, he didn't look like a good scheme fit within Ejiro Evero's new dynamic 3-4 base scheme.
Perhaps the most eye-catching news involved linebacker Deion Jones, who signed a one-year deal almost immediately after his tryout concluded. The former second-round pick has proven credentials - going over 100 tackles five times in seven seasons - but many believe he's on a downward slope after starting just five games for the Cleveland Browns in 2022.
Jones has good instincts and rushes the passer effectively when required. He can also thrive in coverage when called upon, which is an area some at Carolina's defensive second-level struggle with in key situations.
This signing piles further pressure on second-year-pro Brandon Smith, who looks firmly on the roster bubble and might be traded or cut if there aren't dramatic improvements in the coming weeks.