Hearing that that the Carolina Panthers released Damiere Byrd today made me think of that blind kid in the wheelchair that Loyd and Harry gave that dead bird. "Pretty bird...."
Byrd became a fan favorite early. The 5'9 speedster played his college ball at the University of South Carolina and made the Panthers practice squad after going undrafted in 2015. His favor only increased after putting on a few pounds and starring in training camp and the preseason. He played well enough to make the Panthers final 53 among a crowded wide receiver corps.
Byrd never dressed, however. Carolina released the fan favorite despite calls for him to see the field in hopes of injecting a little electricity into the Panthers return game.
Carolina's decision to release Byrd had little to do with him, unfortunately. The Panthers have some real roster issues in the secondary and injuries are starting to take their toll on the offensive and defensive lines. The wideouts may not have been all that productive this season, but they have been healthy and are the deepest position group on the Panthers roster. That aside, Carolina's staff hasn't indicated that they want to shake the rotation up either. Despite little production from Devin Funchess or Tedd Ginn, Carolina continues to platoon the same guys in the same schemes under Mike Shula's guidance. The little guy got crowded out.
It's sad to see our pretty Byrd go, but I can only hope that he flys like a Byrd, far, far away. It would have been so nice had we been able to see him fly in that Carolina black and blue.
By the Professor, aka Tony Dunn
Follow him on Twitter @Cat_Chronicles