Free-agent wide receiver Tiquan Underwood has signed with the Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League, NFL.com reports. Underwood didn't see any NFL action in 2014 after being released by the Panthers last August. He has caught 63 passes for 1,006 yards with six touchdowns in 45 games over five seasons with the Jaguars, Patriots and Buccaneers.
The Panthers released receiver Tiquan Underwood, reports Pro Football Talk.
Jerricho Cotchery and rookie Kelvin Benjamin will start while Jason Avant works as the third receiver. That's the prediction of how the Panthers will re-stock their receiving corps according to the Charlotte Observer. The paper thinks Tiquan Underwood might have cost himself an opportunity after dropping a lot of passes through the OTAs. Rarely-used receivers Marvin McNutt and Tavarres King don't look like full-time players just yet. The paper suggested Brenton Bersin as a candidate to step into a small role -- the 6-foot-3, 210-pound receiver is a favorite of Cam Newton's and he knows every receiving spot, which the coaches like. Carolina's offense figures to use more two-tight end sets with Greg Olsen and Ed Dickson the primary weapons.
The Panthers entire receiving corps has been overhauled this season, but ESPN reports the unit could be better this year. Gone are Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, Ted Ginn and Domenik Hixon. In their place are rookie Kelvin Benjamin and veterans in Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Tiquan Underwood. The report says Smith at 35 was no better than a No. 2 receiver and at the end of his career. LaFell, Ginn and Hixon really weren't big losses when you look at it closely. The key here will be chemistry, but Benjamin looks like a red zone beast at 6-foot-5 and 240 pounds and Cotchery and Avant are solid possession receivers, who are more dependable than the players they replaced.
The Panthers open training camp on July 26 but the receivers will begin working with quarterback Cam Newton next week in Charlotte, wideout Tiquan Underwood told USA Today on Thursday. "It's been more difficult because Cam's coming off an ankle injury and he had to get surgery, so we couldn't throw with him as much as we would like," Underwood said. " ... We're just going to try to speed up the process. We're all going to throw -- Derek Anderson, Cam Newton, Joe Webb, Matt Blanchard and all the receivers -- just to work on timing and get that down pat before camp." Newton has barely practiced with his receivers this offseason as he's recovered from ankle surgery. Nearly all of his receivers are new to the Panthers -- Jerricho Cotchery, Jason Avant and Underwood all signed as free agents while Kelvin Benjamin was taken with the team's first-round pick. Any chemistry Newton can develop with his receivers before camp starts would be considered a huge plus for the Panthers offense.
|* indicates player did not play that week|
|WK||DATE||OPP||OPP RANK||OPP FPTS|
|3 Year Avg||33||17||288||2||13||16.94||40|