Starting corner Bené Benwikere cut after Panthers give up 300 yards to Julio Jones

The Carolina Panthers let their best cornerback (Josh Norman) walk during the 2016 offseason, rescinding his franchise tag after they couldn't come to an agreement on a long-term deal. On Friday morning, the Panthers cut the one player many expected to take over for Norman as the team's top corner, Bené Benwikere.

Benwikere worked his way up from part-time fill-in to full-time starter over the last three seasons, and last year he teamed with Norman to form one of the NFL's top cornerback duos prior to his getting injured.

He had been on the field for 82 percent of the Panthers' defensive snaps so far this season, and had fared pretty well before getting worked by Julio Jones last Sunday. Over the first three games, Pro Football Focus tracking credited quarterbacks with only six completions on 10 passes in Benwikere's direction, for 60 yards and an interception.

He was torn to shreds by Jones on Sunday, though, yielding eight catches for 228 yards and two touchdowns on 10 targets. The other two passes were both knocked away by Benwikere, but the eight for 228 obviously stands out as a demerit.

Fellow starter James Bradberry is expected to miss Monday's game against the Buccaneers, per a recent report, so the Panthers will likely be working with Robert McClain and Daryl Worley at corner. Teddy Williams, who has not played a defensive snap yet this year, is the only other cornerback listed on the team's official depth chart.

CBS Sports Writer

Jared Dubin is a New York lawyer and writer. He joined CBSSports.com in 2014 and has since spent far too much of his time watching film and working in spreadsheets. Full Bio

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