Saying "Goodbye" Is Hard...

Matthew GilmartinSenior Analyst ISeptember 1, 2008

Try to remember what it felt like to say goodbye to your parents when you went to your first sleep-away camp.  Not easy, right?

Now try scaling that feeling down several notches.  Have you ever felt that way when you saw your favorite NFL team's final cuts?

Like, if a player who impressed you in the preseason games and whom you came to like, doesn't end up on the final roster for some reason?

That's what happened to me when I saw this year's final cuts to  my favorite NFL team, the Carolina Panthers', roster. 

Running back Decori Birmingham impressed me throughout the Carolina Panthers' preseason.  Especially in the first game against the Colts, in which he rushed for 70 yards on 17 carries.  Plus he made some exceptional hustle plays.  I was surprised and disappointed to see him cut.  But at least the Panthers kept him for the practice squad.  I won't have to say "goodbye" to him completely.

I still wish we had kept cornerback Ricardo Colclough, though, despite his DWI.  However, my anguish for his stupidity balances out my disappointment in seeing him go.  Colclough racked up 16 tackles in four preseason games (two starts) as well as two pass deflections.  He will find a job with another team before the season starts.  Nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, nah, hey, hey, hey, goodbye...

Receiver Jason Carter just got unlucky.  He's never been hurt at any stage in his career—except now.  He suffered a season-ending knee injury between the Panthers' third and fourth preseason games that caused him to be put on the IR.  He won't be playing until the 2009 preseason.

Carter had a great training camp—it's really a shame he got hurt.  It looked as though he would finally catch on with a team and make its final roster (the Vikings signed and released him multiple times before letting him go outright).  In addition, he would have provided us with a great fifth receiver.  He caught five receptions for 52 yards in three preseason games (one start).

It's hard to say goodbye...