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Panthers Upgrade Receiving Corps, Add a Running Back.

The Panthers receiving corps is getting a face for the last two weeks of the season. Highly touted receiver Ray Bolden out of Stony Brook University has been released from the Panthers and replaced by former West Virginia Standout Marcus Simms. They also signed 2022 NFL UDFA RB DeAndre Torrey out of the University of North Texas, to replace Reggie Corbin for the Panthers Week 10 finale versus the Pittsburgh Maulers.

Bolden was a 16th round pick for the Panthers in the inaugural USFL draft . He played four games for the Panthers in 2022 being targeted five times and catching one pass for nine yards. Bolden also had one rushing attempt for -2 yards as well. Bolden never really found his footing in Michigan between injuries, three different starting Quarterbacks and constant rotation in the wide receiver Bolden has found himself as the odd man out and is currently on the outside looking in for the last two weeks of the 2022 USFL season.

To replace Bolden the Panthers have signed Marcus Simms a UDFA out of West Virginia who played three seasons for the Mountaineers. While in college Simms caught 87 passes for 1457 yards and 8 touchdowns. Simms most recently had a workout with the Indianapolis Colts in December 2021, and prior to that spent a good part of 2019 with the Jacksonville Jaguars on their injured reserve before getting waived in November of that season.

What seemingly looks like the last transaction/roster addition/subtraction for the Michigan Panthers was the signing of DeAndre Torrey. Torrey most recently was invited to Jets rookie minicamp, however, was not signed. While at the University of North Texas Torrey rushed for 3228 yards and 36 Touchdowns. He was also awarded 2nd-team All-Conference USA in 2021 as well. Torrey’s signing does signal that Reggie Corbin who was inactive in week 9 will not be playing once again and officially ending his season. Torrey’s signing also continues the USFL’s trend of bringing in 2022 Draft Class players who are looking to cut their teeth in professional football.

With the Panthers out of playoff contention for the final two weeks of the season for a player like Simms it’s about showing not just the Panthers but the whole USFL that he belongs. Despite being on the NFL radar, Simms hasn’t suited up for a game/practice since 2019 and could be making his pro debut on Saturday against the Generals.

As for Bolden, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him back on a professional roster very soon. Between the USFL, MLFB, and XFL there has never been more of an opportunity for athletes to play football at a professional level. Either way for Simms, or Bolden these last two weeks are crucial in their attempts to extend their professional careers.

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Pat Rifino is a former Security Contractor turned writer. He began his writing career talking about geo-politics, and the defense industry. Now Pat writes about alt-league football, while hanging out with his dogs in his off time.

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