The current construction of the Buffalo Bills, just about from up to down, contains numerous beams that were originally established in the Carolina Panthers organization. So many, in fact, they earned the playful nickname of “Carolina North” from the folks down and around in the Tar Heel State.
Well, it now seems as though the Panthers may be on their way to earning themselves a “Buffalo South” moniker.
Ok, maybe not quite yet, but they did syphon some talent back their way from Buffalo, trading for defensive end Darryl Johnson early on Monday afternoon. The deal was first reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, soon after the team announced the day’s practice and media availability was cancelled.
So, with Tuesday’s 53-man roster deadline approaching, this’ll certainly have some implications on what the team ultimately looks like. First off, how would head coach Matt Rhule and his staff try to employ Johnson?
Despite being listed as an end (and standing at a towering 6-foot-6 and 262 pounds), the 2019 seventh-rounder can squeeze into the mold as a linebacker, particularly one that can be utilized on special teams.
Johnson did show promise as a rotational piece for Buffalo in his two campaigns there, amassing a pair of sacks and five quarterback hits while playing in 31 of 32 games. Though it’s his proven capability as a core special teamer, and the potential for more on defense given his traits, that has apparently caught the franchise’s eye.
The Panthers, as stated by general manager Scott Fitterer, highlighted linebacker depth as one of the areas that particularly needed help. Last week’s trade of oft-absent Denzel Perryman knocked the team down to its starting trio of Shaq Thompson, Jermaine Carter Jr. and Haason Reddick ahead of backups Frankie Luvu, Clay Johnston, Julian Stanford and Josh Bynes.
Luvu, along with the starters, are assured their jerseys through Tuesday. That could mean any of the bubbles between Johnston, Stanford and Bynes are in jeopardy of being popped before 4 p.m. ET tomorrow.
Defensive end Christian Miller might be another name to watch as a development of the deal. He would potentially lose out in a pure numbers game, as he’s been solid this summer. But if Fitterer and Rhule decide to roster Johnson at his expense, it’s because he’s the lowest man left on the defensive end totem pole.
To keep track of all the Panthers’ cuts in the upcoming 26 hours, follow along here.
Leave a Reply