They’re hoping to show they can be more than that.
They’re the Panthers receiving corps at the moment, and they hope their unknown status doesn’t last long. Their names have become synonymous in Charlotte with the exodus of every living receiver with experience, a joke which they have grown accustomed with in recent days.
“That’s expected. I didn’t play last year,” King told Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer. “The fans didn’t know anything about me. It’s expected that they say that. That doesn’t bother me at all. They’ll know who I am this year.”
The Panthers have some degree of expectation for the pair of them. They claimed King off waivers from the Broncos, who cut the fifth-round pick to make a roster spot for Von Miller. McNutt was claimed off the Dolphins practice squad last year, and almost had a catch, but was out of bounds for what would have been a touchdown in the regular season finale.
He’s also a bit of a symbol, as he was the guy General Manager Dave Gettleman signed after releasing project Armanti Edwards, who became representative of former G.M. Marty Hurney’s misses.
“When I came here we were 1-4, and I wouldn’t say they had given up on things, but they wanted some changes,” McNutt said. “They said, ‘You have a big opportunity to come in and work hard like we know you’re capable of doing. There are a couple guys here that will be up for contract so you want to make sure you put your best foot forward because this year or next year you could find a spot.’
“They’re just not going to go all straight young guys. There’s going to be guys they pick up. We have an opportunity to have some fresh faces around and show what we can do at this level.”
The Panthers have six receivers on the roster at the moment, who have a combined five catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. All the stats are from former Jaguar Toney Clemons and former fifth-rounder Kealoha Pilares, but McNutt and King have the upside of the group.
And they hope at some point you know who they are.