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The question isn’t will Cam Newton play against the Buccaneers, but should he?

Observer NFL writer Joseph Person projects the Carolina Panthers’ 53-man roster, with one exhibition remaining.

Observer NFL writer Joseph Person offers five takeaways from the Carolina Panthers’ 28-16 exhibition win against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday night.

Five takeaways from the Carolina Panthers’ exhibition against the Buffalo Bills - including thoughts on Cam Newton, Greg Olsen, Kony Ealy, Josh Norman, Kenjon Barner and Kealoha Pilares. Plus, the latest 53-man Panthers’ roster projection.

The seal that capped the rookie contracts of the first-round draft picks from 2011 was broken last week when Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson and Dallas Cowboys offensive tackle Tyron Smith signed lucrative, long-term extensions.

After an offseason exodus, there are 11 Carolina Panthers receivers vying for roster spots for 2014. Any who don’t make it can’t blame it on a lack of opportunity.

Former Carolina Panthers tight end Wesley Walls sees NFL tight ends lining up in the slot, being used and getting paid like wide receivers, and thinks he played the position two decades too soon. “I wish I was 23 again in this league,” Walls said.

Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman entered the NFL draft needing a wide receiver, left tackle, cornerback and an IT guy to accompany him to Worcester, Mass. Three out of four isn’t bad.

Reporters got a look at the Carolina Panthers’ leadership transition last week when the team trotted out Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly and Ryan Kalil for interviews at the start of the offseason workout program.

Greg Olsen last season became the first Panthers tight end to lead the team in receiving since 1997 – and that was before the team held a fire sale at the wide receiver position.

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Joseph Person
Joseph Person covers the Carolina Panthers and the NFL for the Charlotte Observer. You can reach him by email.
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