Inside the Panthers

Panthers cut fifth-round rookie CB Zack Sanchez in surprising move

Carolina Panthers safety Zack Sanchez looks to stop Baltimore Ravens tight end Daniel Brown following a pass reception at M&T Stadium in Baltimore, MD. on Thursday, August 11, 2016. The Ravens defeated the Panthers 22-19.
Carolina Panthers safety Zack Sanchez looks to stop Baltimore Ravens tight end Daniel Brown following a pass reception at M&T Stadium in Baltimore, MD. on Thursday, August 11, 2016. The Ravens defeated the Panthers 22-19. jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

Cut day started with a bang for the Panthers on Saturday morning, with the release of fifth-round draft pick Zack Sanchez, according to a league source.

Sanchez was one of three cornerbacks that general manager Dave Gettleman drafted a week after pulling the franchise tag from Pro Bowl corner Josh Norman. But while James Bradberry and Daryl Worley quickly became starters, Sanchez’s snaps were limited to second- and third-team work at nickel back.

Sanchez becomes the first player drafted in four years under Gettleman who was a healthy cut. The Panthers waived injured RB Tyler Gaffney in 2014, and the Patriots claimed him on waivers.

After Thursday’s exhibition finale against Pittsburgh, Sanchez conceded he’d played poorly in the third preseason game against New England but hoped he’d done enough to make the active roster.

Sanchez had 15 interceptions during three seasons at Oklahoma, and was among the nation’s leaders with seven last year for the Sooners.

If Sanchez (5-11, 185) clears waivers, he would be a strong candidate for the Panthers’ practice squad.

Joseph Person: 704-358-5123, @josephperson

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