Carolina Panthers cornerback Bene Benwikere has reportedly been cut just days after giving up 300 yards and a touchdown to Julio Jones.
Whoa. The #Panthers just cut starting CB Bene' Benwikere, source said. Rough day vs. Julio, but had INT in opener, had played some good ball
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) October 7, 2016
In a corresponding move, the Panthers promoted Zach Sanchez to the active roster from the practice squad, per his agent, Ken Sarnoff.
— Ken Sarnoff (@KenSarnoff) October 7, 2016
This is stunning news.
Benwikere did get torched by Jones, but that can almost apply to every single corner who attempts to stay with the talented Atlanta Falcons receiver. Furthermore, it’s not like the Panthers have a glut of talent at the cornerback position.
Since refusing to pay Josh Norman this offseason, the Panthers’ secondary has been decidedly less competent. After allowing 503 passing yards on Sunday, it’s clear Carolina’s pass defense just isn’t up to snuff.
While still remaining middle of the road in terms of passing yardage allowed this season, Carolina’s secondary has allowed eight passing touchdowns.
It remains to be seen how the Panthers will fix what’s broken. Perhaps they feel rookie Daryl Worley is ready to step up. But if Benwikere is indeed out now, there are only five cornerbacks on the roster — James Bradberry, Robert McClain, Sanchez and Teddy Williams being the four others.
Unless the Panthers have a deal in place to lure the great Charles Woodson out of retirement, this move makes little sense. Unless, of course, there were other circumstances that have yet to be revealed that led to Benwikere’s dismissal.