Getting cut in the NFL appears to be a cruel endeavor. When DeAngelo Williams was released by the Carolina Panthers in March 2015, he was given a letter by the team explaining why his services were no longer required.
“In the judgment of the Club, your skill or performance has been unsatisfactory compared with that of other players competing for positions on the Club’s roster.”
That’s harsh, but was also the foundation for Williams’ bounce-back 2015 season.
Williams saved that letter and used it as motivation for this season with the Pittsburgh Steelers. He ran for 907 yards on 200 carries, saving the day after Le’Veon Bell went down with a season-ending knee injury in Week 8. The decision worked out for both parties, as the Panthers went 15-1 and reached the Super Bowl with Jonathan Stewart gaining 989 yards on 242 carries.
And let’s be honest — the Panthers had every right to give Williams that letter. In his final season with the Panthers, Williams was limited to six games due to injury and had 62 carries for 219 yards, by far the lowest totals of his career. At 31, it was easy to believe his career was at or near the end.
But with a career average of 4.8 yards per carry (4.5 last season), maybe the Panthers could have used his services after all.