Inside the Panthers

Panthers cut defensive backs Melvin White, Robert Lester, WR Jarrett Boykin

FILE - Carolina Panthers (23) cornerback Melvin White congratulates teammate (24) cornerback Josh Norman following Norman's interception of a pass by Steelers (3) quarterback Landry Jones during third quarter action on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com
FILE - Carolina Panthers (23) cornerback Melvin White congratulates teammate (24) cornerback Josh Norman following Norman's interception of a pass by Steelers (3) quarterback Landry Jones during third quarter action on Thursday, August 29, 2013 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com Charlotte

The Panthers' first round of cuts claimed cornerback Melvin White, a former starter who indicated on Twitter on Tuesday morning that he'd been cut.

White, undrafted out of Louisiana-Lafayette in 2013, started 17 games in two seasons and was in the starting lineup for the playoff loss to San Francisco as a rookie.

The Panthers also cut wide receiver Jarrett Boykin and safety Robert Lester, according to league sources.

Boykin, a Charlotte native and former Packers wideout, had a team-leading nine catches in three exhibition games but was inconsistent throughout the preseason.

Lester started several games in 2013 but spent most of last season on the practice squad.

General manager Dave Gettleman declined to comment on any roster moves, saying they had not been finalized.

The team has until 4 p.m. Tuesday to get to 75 players. The final 53-man roster must be set by Saturday.

White had a couple of big plays in key games. He intercepted Matt Ryan and returned it for a touchdown in the division-clinching win in Atlanta two years ago, and forced Ted Ginn to fumble on a kickoff return deep in Arizona territory in the Panthers' playoff win in January.

But the emergence of Josh Norman and Bene’ Benwikere last season and the addition of veteran Charles Tillman pushed White to the back of the rotation. He was competing with offseason acquisition Teddy Williams for one of the last cornerback spots, but Williams’ special teams skills gave him an edge.

White's release means the Panthers have turned over three-fourths of the secondary that started six of the first seven games last season. Cornerback Antoine Cason was cut in December, while safety Thomas DeCoud was let go shortly after the season.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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