Even though the Carolina Panthers have until Tuesday afternoon to cut the roster down from 90 to 75, they decided to begin the process. On Sunday, they announced they have released 11 players which included wide receiver Stephen Hill and backup tackle David Foucalt.
Hill is the biggest name among these players, even though he had not played a regular season game for the Panthers. The former second round pick of the New York Jets has been with the Panthers since he was waived by the Jets before the 2014 season.
He then spent that season on the Panthers' practice squad and entered the 2015 season with big expectations. However, he suffered a torn ACL during training camp last year and was forced to miss the entire season. The reason for the cut most likely came down to numbers as the offense is exceptionally deep at wide receiver, and the competition was much tougher than years past.
David Foucault was signed as a undrafted free agent before the 2014 season out of Montreal and made the active roster as a rookie, even starting one game. However, the Panthers signed Michael Oher last year and Foucault bounced between the practice squad and active roster.
The Panthers also released two players they signed during training camp, one being defensive tackle Ray Drew and more recently offensive tackle Willie Smith. Now that Foucault and Smith have been released, this paves the way for Donald Hawkins to be the backup left tackle barring any signings the team makes between now and the regular season.
The Panthers now have 79 players on the roster and must make four more cuts before Tuesday afternoon.