Hoping to build the middle of their defense through the draft, the Panthers used a pair of third-round picks on defensive tackles last year.
They’ve already cut one (Terrell McClain, the 65th overall pick) and deactivated the other (Sione Fua, 97th overall) today for their game at Tampa Bay.
Instead, the Panthers are going with a pair of veteran free agents (Ron Edwards and Dwan Edwards) and a guy they claimed off Miami’s practice squad (Frank Kearse).
And Fua might end up released when suspended defensive tackle Andre Neblett returns after the first four games.
They did hit on quarterback Cam Newton, so it’s hard to throw rocks at last year’s entire draft class, but getting no contributions from a pair of thirds in a year when they didn’t have a second is tough. The only other member of the 2011 draft class on their active roster is fifth-round kick returner Kealoha Pilares.
Also inactive for the Panthers against the Bucs were: Running back Jonathan Stewart, quarterback Jimmy Clausen, safety D.J. Campbell, center Jeff Byers, tackle Bruce Campbell and defensive end Thomas Keiser.