C.J. Saunders

Wednesday NFL Transactions: NFC South

Following the 53-man roster cutdown deadline Tuesday, many teams will make slight tweaks to their rosters. In addition to waiver claims, teams can begin constructing their 16-man practice squads today. These moves for the BuccaneersFalconsPanthers and Saints are noted below.

Here are Wednesday’s NFC South transactions, which will continue to be updated throughout the day.

Atlanta Falcons

Claimed:

Signed to practice squad:

Carolina Panthers

Release from IR:

Signed to practice squad:

New Orleans Saints

Released: 

  • K Aldrick Rosas; Rosas is expected to re-sign later this week, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets

Claimed:

Signed to practice squad:

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Signed to practice squad:

Panthers Set Initial 53-Man Roster

Add the Panthers to the list of teams who have officially trimmed their roster down to the required 53 players. Remember this is only the initial roster, so not everybody who was spared Tuesday will make it through to the regular season after the waiver wire frenzy the next few days.

Here’s the list of players Carolina cut on Tuesday:

Released:

Waived:

Placed on season-ending IR

You’ll probably recognize at least a few names on this list, including Bynes, Grier, Kirkwood, and Bonnafon. Bynes is a veteran linebacker with 117 appearances and 63 starts under his belt since entering the league all the way back in 2011. He started all 16 games for the Bengals last year, but it took him until just a few weeks ago to get signed by Carolina.

Grier is the West Virginia product who had a fair amount of buzz coming out of college. Despite some initial talk that he could get drafted in the first or second-round, he ended up as a third-round pick in 2019. He ended up starting two games for the Panthers as a rookie, struggling mightily while tossing four interceptions and no touchdowns. Carolina is throwing in the towel after just two seasons, electing to roll with only P.J. Walker behind Sam Darnold. Grier should be able to at least end up on somebody’s practice squad.

Panthers Waive QB Tommy Stevens

Tommy Stevens brief stint with the Panthers has come to an end. The team announced that they’ve waived the quarterback. The team signed rookie wideout C.J. Saunders to take the open roster spot.

Stevens was in and out of the lineup during his time at Penn State and Mississippi State, but he showed promise both with his arm and on the ground. Thanks to that potential, he was drafted by the Saints in the seventh round of the 2020 draft…but the team made the bold decision of switching him to tight end. He didn’t end up making New Orleans active roster, but he did stick around their practice squad for most of the campaign.

He later caught on with the Panthers (as a quarterback), and he ended up making his NFL debut in Carolina’s Week 17 loss to the Saints. Stevens got four carries in that game for 24 rushing yards.

With the move, the Panthers are now rostering three quarterbacks: Sam Darnold, P.J. Walker, and Will Grier.

Saunders was a former walk-on cornerback at Ohio State, but he ended up transforming into one of the team’s most reliable receivers. He had 27 receptions in two seasons at Ohio State, and he was named a captain in 2019 before succumbing to an injury. He spent rookie minicamp with the Falcons organization.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.