The Carolina Panthers have made the first step towards slimming their roster down to the Sept. 1 deadline of 75 players.
Monday, the team released WR Ryne Robinson, OT Gerald Cadogan, and DT Lorenzo Williams.
Robinson's is the most recognizable name from this list, as most fans will remember his time spent as the team's kick returner during the 2007 season. Robinson didn't live up to expectations then, and missed all of 2008 with a knee injury.
Much was expected of Robinson heading into 2009 with Mark Jones having left the team in free agency during the offseason. Robinson was supposed to be quicker and more experienced coming off of his injury, leading him to be tabbed as the heir apparent to Jones in the return game.
That changed after rookies Mike Goodson and Captain Munnerlyn had terrific camps in terms of showing their hand at the return game as well as showing an ability to come in and make a difference on offense or defense.
Robinson didn't get out of the gates with enough steam to ever keep up with Munnerlyn and Goodson in the kick return battle and will be most remembered this preseason for his mistake in Miami that led to the Dolphins' game clinching touchdown.
The emergence of wide receiver Kenneth Moore, however, is what sealed Ryne's fate. Heading into training camp, the depth chart at wide receiver after Dwayne Jarrett at the third spot looked something like Robinson/Jason Carter/Moore. Robinson and Carter were both coming off of injuries and were guys that the organization liked.
Based on what we've seen in the preseason to date, it wouldn't be much of an understatement to say that Kenneth Moore deserves the three spot more than Jarrett.
When Charles Godfrey went out with a broken hand after the Miami game, the Panthers cut Carter to make room for depth at the safety position, narrowing the race to Robinson and Moore. When the Baltimore game came and went without much more than a sighting of Robinson, it was clear the decision had already been made.
Cadogan was an All-Big Ten offensive lineman for Penn State in 2008 and was expected to be a third or fourth round draft pick, but wound up falling through the cracks and being signed by Carolina as an undrafted free agent.
Williams was last cut by the Baltimore Ravens following the 2008 preseason.
The Panthers will need to make one more roster move to slim down to 75 players by Tuesday after they placed offensive lineman C.J. Davis on injured reserve, ending his season.
After that, the Panthers wrap up the preseason on Thursday with a final audition against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Following the Steelers game, the team will perform the final 22-man cut, trimming the roster down to the 53-man mark by Sept. 5.
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