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Into the Panthers' lair

Panthers cut Oliver, sign WR/KR Metcalf to take his spot

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Posted: Tuesday September 07, 1999 08:45 PM

  After being cut by Baltimore before ever suiting up for a game, things are looking up for Eric Metcalf. Elsa Hasch/Allsport

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) -- The Carolina Panthers on Tuesday released punt returner Winslow Oliver after three years with the club and signed veteran triple-threat Eric Metcalf in an attempt to address the team's lack of depth at wide receiver.

Metcalf, who is the NFL record-holder for regular-season touchdown returns with 11, also has 2,635 career rushing yards and 5,420 receiving yards. Metcalf, who has 43 non-return touchdowns for his career, was released Sunday by Baltimore.

"Eric is obviously an outstanding special teams player and can also help add depth at wide receiver," said Carolina head coach George Seifert. "We felt that with four receivers, this was something we needed to do to balance our roster out, and we had depth at the running back position."

Oliver, a third-round draft choice by the Panthers in 1996, holds several team punt-return records, including longest return (84 yards) and most yardage for a career (1,173) and in a season (598 in 1996). He averaged 10.7 yards on 110 punt returns in three seasons.

Oliver returned punts and kickoffs during the preseason and also saw some time in the backfield, scoring the game-winner on a 21-yard run in Carolina's 20-13 win over Pittsburgh. It appeared his spot was secure after returner and wide receiver Iheanyi Uwaezuoke was released.

Metcalf, a first-round draft choice out of Texas in 1989, has played with Cleveland, Atlanta, San Diego and Arizona, amassing 16,280 career total yards, seventh on the all-time list.

The Panthers also Tuesday placed five players on the practice squad, including Texas rookie wide receiver Sirr Parker, who was cut from the San Diego Chargers late last month.

The other four players were cut Sunday by the Panthers: tackle Dan Best, a rookie from Western Carolina; wide receiver Dialleo Burks; defensive tackle Harry Deligianis and quarterback Matt Lytle, a rookie from the University of Pittsburgh.

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