For the Panthers, Sunday was the equivalent of the old story about the duck. It looks calm on the surface, but is paddling like crazy down below.
They claimed their two guys off waivers -- DT Sonny Harris, RB Tyrell Sutton -- but there's a lot more activity going on behind the scenes. In fact, there's already a free agent in town to take a physical tomorrow. You'll have to wait for Monday's Herald for that one.
(To quote the great Steve Earle from an old live recording of "Guitar Town," ... "I'm such a tease, it's awful.")
-- Anyway, there's a lot more that went into the claiming of Harris.
The NFL has a system called priority waivers. If you want just one player at a certain position, you can claim a handful, and you get the highest one on your list.
Well, knowing they needed a DT, they put in claims on four who were released Saturday: Washington's Antonio Dixon, Pittsburgh's Sonny Harris, Dallas' Derreck Robinson and Atlanta's Vance Walker (from Fort Mill).
Dixon was awarded to Philadelphia, so the Panthers got Harris.
Walker's now on the Falcons practice squad, having come oh so close to joining his hometown team. Of course, since he went to Georgia Tech, he still kind of did.
-- The Panthers didn't want J Leman on their practice squad. Seems odd. Kid made more plays in the preseason than anybody here. Yes, he's slow, but has the instincts to compensate for that, never making a false step to the ball.
Doesn't matter now, as he's about to sign with the Eagles' practice squad.
But the reason the Panthers moved on seems interesting.
The Tampa 2 system they're running now demands fast linebackers. They already have three guys who won't be on the relay team at the company picnic (Na'il Diggs, Landon Johnson, Dan Connor) among the six LBs they kept. So to fill out the lines, they kept two of the more mobile LBs from camp, Kelvin Smith and Mortty Ivy.
It didn't help Leman that he was a SLB/maybe MLB only, and was behind Diggs and Connor there.
We'll see down the road if it was a mistake, but suffice it to say, I didn't see 61 better players in camp.
-- Also interesting to see where DT Marlon Favorite lands. His agent is talking to the Eagles as well about a practice squad gig. He's a good run-stopper, but physically limited.
-- None of the Panthers cuts were claimed off waivers. Speaks to how cut-and-dried their decisions were this year.
That's what you get with a top-heavy roster.