QB Brett Basanez; RBs LaBrandon Toefield, Decori Birmingham, Troy Fleming;WRs Samie Parker, Travis Taylor, Chris Hannon, William Buchanon; TE Chad Upshaw; OL Milford Brown, Toniu Fonoti, Geoff Schwartz, Evan Mathis, Rueben Riley; DL Stanley McClover, Stephen Williams, Nick Hayden; LBs Tim Shaw, Shaun Smith; DBs Ricardo Colclough, Joe Fields, Darren Toney Terrance Holt.
Of those cuts, Birmingham, Schwartz, Hayden, Buchanon, and Fields were kept aboard on the practice squad.
Notable concepts from the cuts and keeps:
- Free agent class of 2008 goes right up there with 2004's for disappointment. Tyler Brayton starts, tenuously. Landon Johnson doesn't, but he made the team, which is more than can be said for Holt. Toefield, Holt, and some of the big guards didn't make it. The signing of Muhsin Muhammad and the re-signing of Chris Harris, Damione Lewis, and others are the only thing keeping the free agent session from being fairly disastrous.
- Toniu Fonoti and Milford Brown were part of the theoretical resurgence of the line; they were both sizeable guards with some starting history. But when they lost the RG job to Keydrick Vincent, the first lineman they signed this year, they apparently worked themselves off the roster for lighter and already vested Geoff Hangartner and Jeremy Bridges, both of which are more versatile. At first it didn't make sense to drop both Fonoti and Brown, good depth to have around, but Hangartner and Bridges already make plenty for backups and it fiscally doesn't make sense to keep that much money on the bench. Mackenzy Bernardeau made the 53 by playing savvy center after being a college guard, which allowed some flexibility both monetarily and situationally.
- Holt and Toefield were victims of good drafting, it seems, respectively losing out to Charles Godfrey and Jonathan Stewart. Holt seemed good enough, and could play either S spot and contribute on special teams, but was more expensive than Nate Salley; Toefield could've been the 3rd back but failed at competing for the spot.
- Salley continually earns the apple of the staff's eye, despite poor play on the field. No Panther, in my opinion, deserves a jersey less than Salley.
- Rhys Lloyd made the squad as somewhat expected, giving the team its first fulltime kickoff specialist. Donte Curry made the squad as a special teamer, where he was an ace for the team late in 2007 and for the Lions for years. Curry will probably be active over Dan Connor. Dante Wesley will be active for ST duty as well; Goings is a mainstay there, as is Seward. Despite specialization, the team did well squeezing special teamers into the roster.
- Curry, Adam Seward, Connor, James Anderson, and Johnson were all LB backups, leaving the team with 8 again. The team didn't need Anderson, given the versatility of Connor and Johnson, and Anderson hasn't shown a lot in three years. The team may cut from here if it needs a spot for suspended WR Steve Smith.
After cuts to 53 were made, the team released Dominique Thompson and signed RS Matt Jones, formerly of Tampa Bay and most recently in camp with San Diego.