Kicking change: Panthers keep Santoso, release slumping Slye


CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) – It didn’t take long for Ryan Santoso to leave an impression on the Carolina Panthers coaching staff -…

CHARLOTTE, NC (AP) – It didn’t take long for Ryan Santoso to leave an impression on the Carolina Panthers coaching staff – and steal a spot from collapsing Joey Slye.

The Panthers cut Slye on Saturday in favor of the 6-5, 258-pound Santoso, who was acquired Thursday in a trade with the New York Giants. Santoso scored 52 and 27 yards and scored the extra three points in Carolina’s 34-9 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers on Friday night, while Slye missed 49 yards.

Panthers coach Matt Rhule said it took “moxie” for Santoso to score 52 yards in a game just over 24 hours after joining the team.

Slye entered training camp with no competition on the roster, but missed three field goals and a long extra point during the preseason.

“He’s done a lot of kicking and he’s done a lot of good things, and he’s just in one of those places right now where he’s struggling,” Rhule said. “When you fight in a lot of other positions people don’t know it, but when you fight in that position unfortunately it’s magnified.”

Santoso thanked his former Giants teammate Graham Gano – who had previously kicked for the Panthers – for helping him along the way. Now Santoso will wear Gano (No.9) old jersey number in Carolina.

“He’s helped me so much,” Santoso said. “He just gave me a ton of information. It was really cool coming out of the training ground (Giants) on Thursday (after the trade) and he was one of the first guys to give me a big hug. He had the biggest happy smile on his face to see me go to a place like this that he knows to be really, really good and that they care about the players.

Carolina also gave up tackle Martez Ivey, wide receiver Ishmael Hyman, linebackers Paddy Fisher and Jonathan Celestin, injured running back Darius Clark and the safety of veteran Doug Middleton.

The list now stands at 71 players. The teams are due to reduce their roster to 53 players on Tuesday.

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