The Carolina Panthers have begun the process of trimming their roster from 90 to 53 players in advance of Saturday afternoon’s deadline. The team announced its first wave of roster cuts Friday afternoon.
Last year’s No. 2 quarterback Taylor Heinicke posted on Instagram on Friday morning that he was among the first players released by the team.
“Man.... this one hurts!” Heinicke wrote. “I don’t know where to begin but gonna keep it short. Gonna miss all of you! Best locker room full of guys I’ve ever been with.. hold it down this year fellas.. and as always #KeepPounding”
Heinicke was competing with second-year undrafted free agent Kyle Allen and third-round rookie Will Grier for the Panthers’ backup quarterback job. Heinicke, an undrafted free agent himself, served in that role last season and started the team’s Week 16 contest against the Atlanta Falcons. But he was injured that game and underwent elbow surgery after the season, and he’s spent the majority of training camp as the team’s fourth quarterback.
Heinicke is reportedly already on the way to Indianapolis to work out for the Colts, per Ed Miller of the Virginian-Pilot.
And Heinicke is far from the only one. According to Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, the Panthers also have released nickel corner Corn Elder. He was competing with Javien Elliott for the team’s starting nickel job, but when Elliott sat with the rest of the starters for Thursday’s preseason finale, it was an indication on Elder’s future with the team.
The Panthers have terminated the following vested veterans:
▪ RB Cameron Artis-Payne
▪QB Taylor Heinicke
▪CB Lorenzo Doss
▪WR Aldrick Robinson
▪LS Andew DePaola
The team has also waived the following players:
▪LB Brandon Bell
▪G Tyler Catalina
▪C Parker Collins
▪CB Corn Elder
▪DT Woodrow Hamilton
▪G Taylor Hearn
▪TE Cole Hunt
▪WR Damion Jeanpiere
▪WR Andre Levrone
▪WR Jaydon Mickens
▪CB Ryan Pulley
▪WR Rashad Ross
▪TE Jason Vander Laan
▪LB Antoine Williams
▪C John Yarbrough
Two players, guard Kofi Amichia and safety Damian Parms were waived/injured.
In addition to Gano, the team also placed guard Kitt O’Brien on injured reserve.
The Panthers roster currently stands at 66 players, with 13 more cuts to make before Saturday at 4 p.m.