It’s officially Dallas week here in Charlotte. We finally are at a place where we can move past the pundits that have lauded over New Orleans and Atlanta over the past seven months while Carolina essentially lay forgotten. Well the roster has been set and it’s time for Ron, Cam and company to remind the nation who they’re sleeping on.
Cut down day came with a few surprises, but nothing that was alarming. Kenjon Barner was probably the biggest name that was cut, but it’s a non story when the options taken ahead of him are completely justifiable. Daeshon Hall being cut a year after the team traded up for him in the third round was surprising as well, but he was completely invisible all preseason so you shrug your shoulders and move on.
The fun part about cut down day though are the minor trades and waiver claim acquisitions that are made. Even though players that are exchanged via these types of deals are, at best, depth moves or special team contributors, fans like myself love to over analyze on how they ultimately can put the team over the top.
It wasn’t a secret that the Panthers needed to do something to add to the offensive line. Ever since Daryl Williams and Amini Silatolu went down with knee injuries during the first week of training camp, depth was a massive issue. That’s two starters, one of which is an All Pro, that are lost for what looked to be an extended period of time from the jump. If there was good news, it’s that both players weren’t anticipated to miss the entire season, but their injuries left an obvious depth crisis among the group.
Fast forward to the Miami and New England games and two more brutal injuries follow on the o-line. The first was to starting left tackle Matt Kalil and the second was to swiss army knife Jeremiah Sirles. Kalil’s injury was a knee issue that he had scoped shortly after the game. The initial prognosis was that Kalil would be out for a couple of games and should be back after the Panthers’ bye week which comes in Week 4 of the season. This proved to be too optimistic and a day after the roster is named, Kalil gets put on IR with the hope that he’d be able to return after 8 weeks which should be enough time for him to heal up. Sirles wasn’t as lucky. His injury was hamstring related and he was put on IR from the jump which meant him losing out on the season with no opportunity to come back.
Here is where the move comes in. Shortly after the Panthers announced their first wave of roster cuts, Marty Hurney made his move to bolster the o-line and traded a conditional 2020 draft pick to Detroit for OT Corey Robinson.
Robinson is a local kid out of Havelock in Eastern NC and played college ball in Columbia at South Carolina so Charlotte is definitely a homecoming for him. Robinson’s play on the field has been adequate by most metric systems, but he grades out as a quality backup that can provide fill in minutes for starters at both tackle and guard spots. The position flexibility is definitely key with this trade.
In an interview post trade, Hurney and Ron both mentioned that they had been monitoring Robinson for the past couple of weeks and felt like if he were available then he could help the Panthers. It turned out that he was and since Marty only had to give up a conditional pick (7th rounder) in 2020 for him, Robinson was likely headed for the cut line in Detroit and the trade allowed Carolina to snag him without risking him falling through waivers. Seems to be a very prudent move.
Robinson will likely start week one at right tackle with Moton manning left while Kalil and Williams recover. Once Williams returns, Robinson should still be able to contribute both inside and out as a rotational piece.
I felt like there was a possibility of additional moves being made since
Marty had restructured Luke’s contract earlier that same day, but for now, it looks like the Robinson addition is it. I did see where the Broncos allegedly offered up Paxton Lynch in trade to Carolina as a backup QB, but we passed.