The Panthers opened up a pair of roster spots on Thursday ahead of next week’s organized team activity (OTA) workouts.
Carolina announced the departures of veteran quarterback Jacob Eason and wideout Preston Williams just days after rookie minicamp. Eason and Williams both served stints on the team’s practice squad last season.
Eason, 25, was a 2020 fourth-round pick of the Indianapolis Colts when Panthers head coach Frank Reich ran the AFC South roster. Following his departure, the Panthers have just three quarterbacks on their offseason roster: Bryce Young, Andy Dalton and Matt Corral.
Young, the first overall pick in April’s draft, is being groomed to become the face of the franchise, while Dalton was signed in free agency to serve as a veteran backup/bridge starter to ease the rookie’s transition to the pros. Corral, last year’s third-round pick, is competing for playing time and a spot on the depth chart this summer.
While it’s unlikely that the Panthers keep just three quarterbacks on their roster throughout the summer, Carolina might want to give Corral an extended look behind Dalton and Young. With just three players taking reps at quarterback, Corral could have heavy training camp and preseason workloads, which could factor into his evaluation by the new staff.
Williams’ release leaves the Panthers with 11 wideouts on their roster. Following the second-round selection of Jonathan Mingo, the free-agent signings of Damiere Byrd and Gary Jennings, and the undrafted addition of Josh Vann, Williams’ spot became expendable.
Williams, listed as 6-foot-4 and 210 pounds, played in last season’s finale against the New Orleans Saints. He spent the first three seasons of his career with the Miami Dolphins, producing 56 catches for 767 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Panthers’ roster is now at 88 players, giving Carolina wiggle room with two open spots on the 90-man depth chart.