Carolina Panthers release WR Torrey Smith among other roster moves

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After spending just one season with the Carolina Panthers, Torrey Smith is now looking for a new home in the NFL.

The Panthers cut Smith on Sunday, according to ESPN, and instead claimed former Minnesota Vikings receiver Brandon Zylstra.

The 30-year-old had 17 receptions for 190 yards and two touchdowns last season in 11 games with the Panthers, though has been limited with a knee injury.

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Smith, who spent four seasons with the Baltimore Ravens and two with the San Francisco 49ers, was traded to Carolina from the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018. He made $5 million with the team last year, though took a $2 million pay cut this offseason. The move will end up saving the Panthers $1.8 million in cap space, per ESPN.

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“I’m going to miss my guys!” Smith wrote on Twitter on Sunday afternoon. “Not what I was expecting, but I understand the business. Thank you for sticking with me through the injury and allowing me to work myself back to full strength. Three months ago I thought my career was done. Thank you Panthers!”

The Panthers still have plenty of options at wide receiver without Smith, including DJ Moore — who they selected in the first round of the 2018 NFL draft — and veteran Chris Hogan, who the Panthers picked up this offseason. Hogan spent the previous three seasons with the New England Patriots, and recorded 532 yards on 35 receptions and had three touchdowns last year.

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Zylstra served mainly as a kick returner last season with the Vikings, his first in the league. He had four punt returns for 26 yards and one kick return for 15 yards, and is expected to serve in a similar role for the Panthers.

The Panthers also made several other roster moves on Sunday. According to ESPN, the team claimed former Buffalo Bills receiver Ray-Ray McCloud and former Green Bay Packers and Houston Texans safety Natrell Jamerson. They released rookie running back Elijah Holyfield, the son of boxing champion Evander Holyfield, and cornerback Kevon Seymour, too.

The Panthers released veteran wide receiver Torrey Smith on Sunday after just one season with the team.
The Panthers released veteran wide receiver Torrey Smith on Sunday after just one season with the team. (Robin Alam/Getty Images)

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