The Panthers spent some time in the last couple of weeks trying to trade one of the two kickers on their 53-man roster, but they haven’t been able to swing a deal and they decided to change course. On Wednesday, they released rookie kicker Harrison Butker and claimed cornerback LaDarius Gunter off waivers, a day after he was released by the Packers.
It took a week and a half after the season started but Graham Gano has finally won the Panthers kicking job permanently. He beat out Butker, who may end up on the practice squad if he goes on unclaimed on waivers.
Gano was given the opportunity to keep his job in Week 1 against the 49ers, and apparently, his 3/3 performance on field goals less than 40 yards was good enough to convince the Panthers brass to keep him for the entire year. Regardless of which kicker they wanted, the other one was taking up space on the 53-man roster that could be used elsewhere, so it’s good to see the Panthers are attempting to fix a depth problem in the secondary by picking up Gunter.
According to Joe Person, the Panthers will likely put Butker on the practice squad if he clears waivers.
Carolina brings in Gunter to give them more depth in the secondary that includes James Bradberry, Daryl Worley, Captain Munnerlyn, Cole Luke and Kevon Seymour.
Gunter, an undrafted free agent out of Miami in 2015, played the most snaps of any corner in Green Bay last season while making 15 regular season starts including all three of their playoff games as well. He finished the year with 54 tackles, 12 passes defended and two forced fumbles. He possesses a 6-foot-2 frame that Carolina needs to face guys like Julio Jones, Mike Evans and Michael Thomas.
One thing you can’t teach is height.