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Panthers veteran players that may be on the bubble


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Now that we know the Carolina Panthers will have a total of nine draft picks, including seven in the first five rounds, it becomes clear that the Panthers will need to make room for these rookies. This seems like one of those seasons that a couple of mildly surprising roster cuts could happen to established players. 

 

Here are a few Panthers veteran players that could be on the bubble for 2015. 

 

1. Roman Harper 

 

Harper struggled early in the 2014 season but did show improvement as the season went on. During our Huddle Podcast, Josh Norman expressed just how important Harper was to the defensive backfield. He seems to be a player coach of sorts. However, he is a 32 year old safety on a team that openly proclaims they want to get younger. Josh Norman, Bene Benwikere, and Tre Boston all have real NFL playoff experience now, making his leadership less important. Throw in the fact that the Panthers just met with Landon Collins this week and it isn't hard to imagine Harper being replaced in the draft. 

 

2. Jerricho Cotchery

 

Cotchery was billed as a mentor for the Panthers young receiver corps, and he performed very well in that capacity. The problem his his performance did not necessarily meet the Panthers expectations on the field. Their interest in Greg Jennings solidifies the notion that the veteran possession receiver position is up for grabs. If a guy like Jaelen Strong is taken in the first, there could be little reason to keep Cotchery on board. 

 

3. Colin Cole

 

First off, I think Cole is a solid role player for the Panthers. That said, he is also the oldest player on the team at 34. Should the Panthers decide to get a young defensive tackle prospect in rounds 3-5 (which is very possible), Cole may be the odd man out. 

 

4. Mike Tolbert

 

I know this one probably isn't well received by most fans, and I myself don't like the thought admittedly. Tolbert is fun to watch both on and off the field. However, last season his production just did not match his salary and he will be 30 years old by the end of this season. The Panthers would save 1.4 million against the cap by letting Tolbert go after June 1. Dave Gettleman has already said the Panthers will draft a running back this season. Throw in a healthy Richie Brockel at H-Back and Darrin Reaves (who had the same YPC as Tolbert last season) and a case could be made for Tolbert to walk. Again, I would hate to see it happen, but it just might. 

 

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Seems to me they need to approach a guy like Harper with a staff position of some kind.

I'd love to see Harper on staff.

Unfortunately, I think the position they'd want to give him already went to Richard Rodgers.

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Seems to me they need to approach a guy like Harper with a staff position of some kind.

I could see that happening in the future.  Probably not here, but he is an extremely intelligent guy that could make a good DB coach.

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I can see Cotchery being let go if we draft and WR high AND sign a vet replacement like Jennings. The rest of that list, not so much.

 

Harper might get pushed to the backup spot but I seriously doubt he goes from full time starter to off the team. Everyone speaks very highly of his leadership and he's on a cheap contract. Also, there's very little depth at safety.

 

We just re-signed Colin Cole, I don't see him going anywhere. I expect the Panthers to draft a DT in the mid rounds but we'll just keep 5 DTs on the roster for a year, no big deal.

 

Tolbert, I don't even know where that's coming from. It was a huge loss when he was injured and when he came back the running game and offense in general improved dramatically. He's a pro-bowler and very important to the team, he's not getting cut to save a little over a million.

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