The Panthers roster has had a bit flux the past couple days. After seeing WR Ish Hyman get claimed by the Maulers, Michigan made a couple more roster moves on the offensive side of the ball. This week Panthers released 2nd Year QB Eric Barriere, while signing former Ivy-League QB and NFL veteran E.J. Perry from Brown University. The Panthers also signed offensive tackle Eric Abojei, while placing Cornerback Kiante Hardin on the team’s Injured Reserve List.
While many called for Barriere to earn an opportunity especially after an injury to Carson Strong and some ineffective play of Josh Love, the former EWU star never was a given an opportunity in 2023 to showcase his skillset. After back-to-back weeks of solid Quarterback play from Love, the Panthers opted to give Barriere his release, only to see him be claimed by the New Jersey Generals who may be dealing with their own batch of Quarterback injuries, after a nasty hit taken by DeAndre Johnson. Barriere was USFL News Hub’s #13 Quarterback coming into the 2023 season and has not played in any games so far. Moving forward it appears former Michigan State QB Brian Lewerke will be backing up Josh Love for the remainder of the season.
To replace Barriere the Panthers brought in E.J. Perry an All-Ivy League QB from Brown who spent 2022 with the Jaguars and part of 2023 with the Houston Texans before being given his release on May 11th. Perry threw for over 6,000 yards and 43 touchdowns at Brown, however led the Bears to a 4-16 record despite his statistical success. Before playing at Brown, Perry originally was enrolled at Boston College but would transfer to the Ivy-League after his uncle was named head coach in 2019.
The Panthers dealing with some Offensive Line issues also signed Eric Abojei, after his quick stint with the Miami Dolphins in their Rookie Mini Camp. Abojei started 39 games at the University of Wyoming playing both Guard and Tackle while leading the way for All-Mountain West Running Backs Titus Swen, and Xazavian Valladay. The Panthers also placed Cornerback KiAnte Hardin on injured reserve, a reserve Defensive Back whose bounced back and forth between the inactive and active roster. Hardin appeared in Four game this season, recording no statistics in 2023. Most likely Keandre Evans will replace Hardin as the Panthers reserve DB, as the two have flip flopped active roster spots for the majority of the season.
With three games left in the season, the Panthers continue to retool and rework their roster in hopes of securing a North Division playoff berth. Currently the team has six players on the Injured Reserve list, while rostering 49 players on the active/inactive roster. With an open roster spot, it appears Michigan is not done building their team and maybe it is possible to see one of the Panthers injured players return, in hopes of assisting Mike Nolan’s team in the final three games of the season.