Panthers add competition for return jobs

The San Francisco 49ers filled their need for a return man when they pulled the trigger on a trade for wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. on Friday.

They are not the only team seeking some help in the return game, though. Add the Carolina Panthers to that list, and they made a move to add some competition when they claimed cornerback Brian Witherspoon off waivers from the Detroit Lions.

Darin Gantt of the Rock Hill (S.C.) Herald called him the leader in the clubhouse for the job at this point. Witherspoon averaged 24 yards per kickoff return and 11.3 yards per punt return in 2008 as a member of the Jacksonville Jaguars. The Panthers have another interesting option already on the roster in Dexter Jackson, the former second-round draft pick from Appalachian State who spent time on Carolina’s practice squad last season.

Witherspoon wasn’t the only player cut loose by the Lions. They also released cornerback Kevin Hobbs and guard Dylan Gandy.

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