CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Stephen Hill experiment is over in Carolina as the Panthers cut the wide receiver and 10 other players on Sunday.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera had always been a big proponent of Hill’s deep threat ability. However, a torn ACL sidelined Hill last season and he struggled to make standout plays in training camp and the preseason.

“Stephen came in and did the best he could under the circumstances and gave us everything he had,” Rivera said. “I’m real proud of who he was for us and the effort he gave us.”

Hill was a 2012 second-round draft pick by the New York Jets.

Rivera said the move is a reflection of how deep the Panthers are at wide receiver.

“We have a great group of guys and Stephen could have been a part of it,” Rivera said.

Carolina also released wide receivers Avius Capers and Miles Shuler, offensive tackles Willie Smith and David Foucault, tight end Braxton Deaver, centers Matt Masifilio and Reese Dismukes, defensive end Tom Lilly, defensive tackle Ray Drew and linebacker Jared Butler.

The Panthers still need to cut four players to get down to 75 before Tuesday’s mandated deadline.

The Panthers worked out four safeties this weekend, including Donte Whitner, but have not signed any of them. That doesn’t mean a move won’t be coming in the future.

Carolina is waiting to see how backup safety Dean Marlowe responds to a hamstring injury before making any decisions. The conditioning staff put Marlowe through what Rivera described as a rigorous workout on Sunday and will wait to see how he responds before making a decision on the safety.


AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org and www.twitter.com/AP_NFL