Panthers cut linebacker Adams, two quarterbacks

Updated: September 2, 2006, 10:29 PM ET
Associated Press

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers released 22 players on Saturday, including quarterbacks Stefan LeFors and Brett Basanez, meaning they will enter the season with only two quarterbacks on the 53-man roster.

With Jake Delhomme and Chris Weinke the only quarterbacks, tight end Kris Mangum will serve as the team's emergency third quarterback.

"I'm not sure what our two-minute drill would look like, but he could do it," joked coach John Fox.

Fox said the Panthers expect to add a quarterback to the practice squad, and that likely will be either Basanez or LeFors.

"Well, there's a risk involved," Fox said of having just two quarterbacks. "But there have been other people do it in the past. We're not the first ones to break this ground."

The Panthers used the extra roster spot on a fourth tight end, fifth-round draft pick Jeff King from Virginia Tech. It's the first time in several years the Panthers have kept four tight ends.

Among the more surprising cuts were linebacker Keith Adams, a free-agent pickup from Philadelphia this offseason, and wide receiver Efrem Hill, the only player to return punts for the Panthers during the preseason.

Also released were running backs Alex Haynes and Jamal Robertson; fullback Casey Cramer; defensive linemen Jovan Haye, Atiyyah Ellison and Lorenzo Alexander; offensive linemen Chad Beasley, Dave Kadella, Adam O'Connor, and Adam Stenavich; linebacker David Bergeron; wide receivers Taye Biddle, Jovon Bouknight, and Justin McCullum; cornerback Jarrett Bush; defensive backs Jermaine Hardy, Billy Parker, and Nate Salley, who's the only one of Carolina's eight draft picks this season who didn't make the team.

Running back Eric Shelton, a former second-round draft pick who spent last year on injured reserve and struggled during the preseason, beat out Haynes and Robertson.

"He's a powerful guy who can move the pile, and that's something where if down the road anything were to happen to the people in front of him, that's a trait that's a positive trait," Fox said.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press

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