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Underwood and Pilares headline 10 Panthers cuts

By Jonathan Jones
jjones@charlotteobserver.com
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/24/13/13/q0ZkU.Em.138.JPG|200
    Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
    Carolina Panthers wide receiver Tiquan Underwood (11) runs a ball upfield during a special team's drill during practice on Tuesday, August 19, 2014.
  • http://media.charlotteobserver.com/smedia/2014/08/06/22/34/1b5pon.Em.138.jpeg|419
    David T. Foster, III - dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com
    Carolina Panthers' Kealoha Pilares (19) waits to get an extra workout after the Wednesday morning session of training camp at Wofford College in Spartanburg, S.C.

The Panthers aren't waiting until Tuesday's deadline to cut their roster from 90 to 75 players. Receivers Tiquan Underwood and Kealoha Pilares were among the 10 players who got their walking papers Sunday.

For Underwood, it's the ninth time he's been released in his NFL career. Pilares' release means Cam Newton is the lone survivor from the 2011 draft class for the Panthers.

Underwood came to the Panthers in the offseason on a one-year deal with the hope of replacing Ted Ginn Jr. as the No. 3 receiver and kick returner. Though slightly undersized, Underwood has top-end speed.

The Panthers gave Underwood ample opportunity to earn the job, but he never played consistently. In practice he had a number of drops. Through three exhibitions, Underwood had one catch for 5 yards. He did not register a punt or kick return.

Joining Underwood and Pilares on the outs are fellow receivers Marvin McNutt and Toney Clemons. McNutt did little since being active for the regular-season finale last year. Clemons had an uphill climb to make the roster and never flashed enough to move up the depth chart.

Kelvin Benjamin, Jerricho Cotchery and Jason Avant are locks to make the team. Brenton Bersin sits comfortably as the No. 4 receiver while Tavarres King and Philly Brown battle for the final spot(s).

Along with the four receivers, P Jordan Gay, DT Linden Gaydosh, DE Alex Hall, T Oscar Johnson, DE Craig Roh and LB Anthony Morales were also released.

The Panthers now have 79 players on the roster. The team must cut the roster to 75 by 4 p.m. Tuesday, and the 53-man roster must be decided by 4 p.m. on Aug. 30.

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