1184 players will be cut between now and Saturday afternoon. The Panthers have quite a few bubble boys to make decisions on. I feel for these guys as their livelihood is on the line and I’m sure they are all quite anxiously looking at their phones. In a way, I’m pulling for them all, but here are three guys that I am pulling for as they impact our future and will help the Panthers this year.
Should the Panthers go with Gano, I’ll have no idea why. He costs six times as much and has been wildly inconsistent. Another key point is this is Gano’s last year under contract and it is time to look to the future. Butker has a very strong leg and will absolutely be as good as Gano this year. And with only $10M in projected cap space next year, this really is a no-brainer to me. But I believe Gano gets the nod. I will disagree.
This is a tough one for me as I really like Andy Lee. Lee even took a pay cut to stay here and wants to be here. That normally is enough to get this homer’s vote to stay. And if he does stay, I won’t be upset. But if Hurney has to be a 2.0 version of himself and be more analytical, so do I. Palardy is still half the price and is 10 years younger. They both are very good and do a great job. In the NFL, when you can get comparable production from younger and cheaper options, you must do it. This is the same rationale that has me pulling for Butker.
The Panthers backfield is the most talented that I’ve ever seen it. Definitely the best since the Double Trouble days. Jonathan Stewart is a key part of that run game and if and when he gets injured again, there needs to be a guy that can fit the same role that he plays. CAP has bee awesome this pre-season. He knows how to make guys miss in the hole and has a burst that is surprising. But the biggest reason he needs to stay is the future. Stew will not be around forever and CAP is a great compliment to Christian McCaffrey. Plus CAP has straight up earned a roster spot. I will be highly surprised if he is cut. If he is, it is solely because of the quality depth at that position. Again, I would disagree.
Other bubble boys that I’m pulling for are Demiere Byrd, Alex Armah, and Eric Crume. The Panthers need to look to the future while still being in Super Bowl or bust mode. When production is comparable, you go with the younger and cheaper option. I’m pulling for all of the 1184 guys who’s dreams are on the line and they are hoping that the Turk is not on the other line. So get your popcorn and let’s see what happens this weekend.