Carolina Panthers

Panthers sign 4 tryout players, including a familiar name

The Carolina Panthers have signed former North Carolina receiver Bug Howard (13), who spent 2017 on the Cleveland Browns' practice squad.
The Carolina Panthers have signed former North Carolina receiver Bug Howard (13), who spent 2017 on the Cleveland Browns' practice squad. AP Photo

The Carolina Panthers on Monday signed four tryout players who participated in last weekend's rookie minicamp.

Carolina also waived cornerback and 2016 fifth-round pick Zack Sanchez with an injury designation. James Bradberry is the only cornerback on the roster from former general manager Dave Gettleman's "shop hungry" draft in 2016, in which he selected three cornerbacks — in the second, third and fifth rounds — to make up for the loss of former starter Josh Norman.

Sanchez struggled with injuries throughout his time in Carolina. His most recent was a quad strain, a source told the Observer.

North Carolina receiver Bug Howard (6-foot-4, 220 pounds), Temple center Kyle Friend (6-foot, 295 pounds), South Florida guard/tackle Quinterrius Eatmon (6-foot-6, 315 pounds) and Northern Iowa defensive end Karter Schult (6-foot-3, 260 pounds) were signed.

Each player has some experience on an NFL practice squad. Howard was an undrafted free agent signing by the Colts in 2017 who was cut and then signed to Cleveland's practice squad. Friend was on the Jets' practice squad in 2016 and then Pittsburgh's. Eatmon was signed by Oakland as an undrafted free agent in 2015 and played in two preseason games, but most recently was a member of the Canadian Football League's Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

Schult was signed by the Browns as an undrafted free agent in 2017, but was cut before the season began.

Sources told the Observer Monday afternoon that receiver Russell Shepard has asked for his release after refusing to take a pay cut.

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Once official, the Panthers' roster will be at 90. NFL teams are allowed to keep 90, but Carolina gets an NFL-mandated practice squad exemption for Efe Obada, a Nigerian-born, London-raised defensive end who is a part of the International Player Pathway Program, so could still add a player.

Jourdan Rodrigue: 704-358-5071; @jourdanrodrigue
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