Carolina Panthers Rumors: Devin Funchess Injury Forces Kevin Norwood Trade, Hakeem Nicks, James Jones Trades Options with Wes Welker, Denarius Moore Available

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Sep 01, 2015 11:33 AM EDT
Kevin Norwood
Carolina Panthers wide receiver Kevin Norwood runs for yards against the St. Louis Rams with the Seattle Seahawks in 2014."

The Carolina Panthers continue to make adjustments to their offense following the loss of Kelvin Benjamin. While the team has yet to make a big signing off the free agent market, they are acquiring depth to help with the wide receiver rotation. Right now the team has a lot of question marks with the injury to their No.1 receiver and Cam Newton more weapons to work with. After acquiring another player via a trade, will the Panthers target players released in the first round of roster cuts?

According to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Panthers have acquired Kevin Norwood in a trade from the Seattle Seahawks. The former fourth-round pick in 2014 recorded just nine catches last season after spending most of the time on the bench. Norwood battled Kevin Smith and Kasen Williams in Seattle and will now join the rotation in Carolina as the race is on to replace Benjamin.

The Panthers need wide receiver help regardless of what head coach Ron Rivera says. The Panthers have stressed they have full confidence in the current players on the roster, but after two games without Benjamin, it is clear they do not have enough to compete in 2015. Devin Funchess has yet to make his debut with the team as the rookie deals with a hamstring injury. Funchess is expected to be the main the replacement for Benjamin, but the Panthers have yet to see if that dream can come true.

Against the New England Patriots, Jerricho Cotchery and Ted Ginn Jr impressed while GreG Olsen led the team with 51 yards off six catches. Outside of that, the talent drops off dramatically. After a round of roster cuts, the free agent market offers potential, but not guaranteed threats. Kenbrell Thompkins, Denarius Moore and DeVier Posey were all let go. They are all young receivers that could be developed into playmakers with the right amount of work.

Of course Wes Welker is still lingering around the market. Interest has been next to none around the slot receiver since his release from the Denver Broncos. Welker got a few looks prior to training camp, but since then no one is calling the veteran's number. According to ESPN, the Panthers would be a good landing spot, but they are not expected to show real interest.

Bleacher Report's Jason Cole reports that James Jones or Hakeem Nicks could be major targets for Carolina if they are released from their respective teams. The Panthers could try and make a trade for either receiver, one that would likely be very cheap if Carolina gets desperate. The preseason is a good place to evaluate talent in depth and right now Carolina should be concerned about what they have on the roster. 

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