Report: Panthers work out former Jets WR Stephen Hill

By Ryan Wilson | CBSSports.com

Stephen Hill is hoping for a second chance in the NFL. (USATSI)
Stephen Hill is hoping for a second chance in the NFL. (USATSI)

After two inglorious seasons with the Jets, followed by a third lackluster preseason, the team cut ties Saturday with wide receiver Stephen Hill, a 2012 second-round pick. Two days later, Hill, who has speed to burn but never consistently caught passes thrown to him, will work out with the Panthers, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan.

Carolina, which parted ways with Steve Smith, Brandon LaFell, Domenik Hixon and Ted Ginn this offseason, remains on the lookout for wide receivers. Their current roster of wide receivers includes Jerricho Cotchery and rookie first-rounder Kelvin Benjamin, Jason Avant, Brenton Bersin and Philly Jones.

Whether Hill can become something he wasn't in New York -- namely, reliable -- remains unknown. But his agent, Alan Herman, thinks that Carolina would be a great fit because wide receivers coach "Ricky Proehl could do wonders with Hill." (Worth noting: Herman, as the Charlotte Observer's Joe Person notes, represents Proehl, who is also a former NFL wide receiver.)

As for Hill's forgettable Jets career, Herman criticized the organization, even blaming the Tim Tebow-Mark Sanchez situation for stunting the wide receiver's development.

"I'm disappointed in (GM John) Idzik and (coach) Rex (Ryan) with the way the whole thing went down there,'' Herman told the USATODAY.com Sunday. "Two years in that kind of situation is disheartening. "He didn't have a chance that first year with that whole Tim Tebow-Mark Sanchez fiasco. ... His second year, Geno Smith was learning how to play quarterback. So they never threw the ball deep because they wanted to simplify things for Geno (Smith)."

It's an agent's job to insulate his client but the reality is that Hill hasn't been good. Last season, according to ProFootballFocus.com, Hill caught just 37.5 percent of the passes thrown in his direction last season. That ranked 100 out of 111 wide receivers. The season before: 45.7 percent, which ranked 102 out of 105.

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