Carolina Panthers: 1 player who could be surprise roster cut this offseason
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Carolina Panthers: 1 player who could be surprise roster cut this offseason

The Carolina Panthers have undergone a plethora of changes since the end of the regular season. Above all, the team chose to name Matt Rhule as the replacement to Ron Rivera at head coach.

Aside from Rhule, the Panthers also announced Joe Brady as their next offensive coordinator. Fans in Carolina are anxious to see what the two offensive-minded coaches are able to achieve in their first season together.

As the offseason looms, Carolina is expected to possess $25.3 million in cap space, according to Spotrac. Given that, the Panthers may choose to make some roster moves to clear up more cap space for the offseason.

Many are wondering whether or not the Panthers decide to keep Cam Newton for the 2020 season. While it’s unclear what their plan is for Newton, Carolina is unlikely going to release the veteran quarterback.

If the Panthers are going to move on from Newton, it’s likely that they trade him to another team. However, the Panthers could free up $19 million in cap space if they released Newton.

Additionally, Carolina would only incur a $2 million dead-cap penalty if they were to release the former NFL MVP. With Newton unlikely being a cap casualty, here is one surprise roster cut the Panther could make this offseason.

Dontari Poe

Prior to the beginning of the 2018 season, the Panthers signed Dontari Poe to a three-year, $28 million contract. Poe is most known for the five years that he spent with the Kansas City Chiefs from 2012-2016.

When Carolina signed Poe, they were longing for a defensive tackle that could thrive alongside Kawann Short. In his first season with the Panthers, Poe contributed 17 tackles, four tackles for loss, and one sack.

Then, in 2019, the veteran defensive tackle was able to improve his numbers from the 2018 season. Despite missing the last five weeks of the season, the former first-round pick tallied 22 tackles, seven tackles for loss, and four sacks in 2019.

Next season, the Panthers expect to get Short back from injury while it remains to be seen if they re-sign Gerald McCoy. Regardless if McCoy is back with the team in 2020, Poe could be on his way out if they want to have a little more money moving forward.

Heading into the 2020 season, Poe is going to be the third-highest cap hit on Carolina’s roster. Releasing the Memphis product would free up nearly $10 million while giving the Panthers a $3.3 million dead-cap penalty.

Depending on what Phil Snow—the Panthers’ new defensive coordinator—envisions for his defense, Carolina could move on from the 29-year-old defensive tackle. Among the players that could be released by the Panthers this offseason, Poe could be an unforeseen roster cut.