With the NFL rosters required to be trimmed down to 53 players by 6 p.m. ET on Saturday, teams are working diligently to complete the finishing touches. The Carolina Panthers are no exception as they parted ways with a pair of notable veterans in the form of quarterback Jimmy Clausen and cornerback Drayton Florence.
The Panthers made the announcement via Twitter:
The #Panthers have terminated the contract of vested veterans T Patrick Brown, CB Drayton Florence and LB Jason Williams.— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) August 31, 2013
The #Panthers have waived/injured S D.J. Campbell, QB Jimmy Clausen, WR David Gettis, S Anderson Russell.— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) August 31, 2013
Clausen tweeted following the decision:
Just want to thank the Panthers Organization and the city of Charlotte for drafting me and making this home for me the last 3 years!— Jimmy Clausen (@JimmyClausen) August 31, 2013
Ian Rapoport of NFL Network was first to report the Panthers decided to end the Clausen era.
#Panthers have released QB Jimmy Clausen, I'm told. Former 2nd rounder.— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) August 31, 2013
Will Jimmy Clausen catch on with another NFL team?
Truth be told, that era came to a screeching halt as soon as Cam Newton was drafted No. 1 overall two seasons ago, but Clausen managed to hang around as a backup. With Derek Anderson firmly entrenched as the No. 2 behind Newton, however, head coach Ron Rivera clearly felt as though it was unnecessary to keep three quarterbacks on the roster.
That led directly to the former Notre Dame star and second-round pick getting the boot on Saturday.
Although Clausen's release was a long time coming, Carolina's other significant cut came as a bigger surprise. According to Pro Football Talk, the Panthers also cut ties with 11th-year cornerback Drayton Florence.
Panthers cut CB Drayton Florence, per league source.— ProFootballTalk (@ProFootballTalk) August 31, 2013
While Florence is little more than a nickel or dime corner at this point in his career, he would have presented a form of comfort for the coaching staff as he would have helped some of Carolina's younger defensive backs with his experience. Florence has 18 career interceptions, and he even took one 71 yards for a touchdown in the Panthers' third preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens.
With defensive backs at a premium in the pass-heavy NFL, Florence may very well find another job before the regular season begins. It's unlikely that Clausen will be so lucky.
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