Panthers withdraw offer to undrafted free agent facing assault charge

Washington State’s Robert Barber (92) had his free agent offer withdrawn by the Panthers. (Getty)

The Cleveland Browns took heat during the NFL draft for selecting Florida defensive tackle Caleb Brantley in the sixth round despite the fact that Brantley is facing misdemeanor battery charges for striking a woman. The Carolina Panthers have averted similar blowback by rescinding an offer to an undrafted free agent who’s been charged with second-degree felony assault.

The Panthers offered Washington State defensive tackle Robert Barber a contract on Saturday night, but withdrew it on Sunday morning after learning of Barber’s pending court date. Barber will be in court on May 15 to answer for charges stemming from a party in July 2016.


At that party, a fight involving several Washington State players ended with one student apparently suffering a concussion and another, a broken jaw. Barber has maintained that he was acting in self-defense, and his attorney had filed a motion in March seeking to dismiss the charges.

Carolina officials did not comment on the decision; Barber’s name simply did not show up on the latest list of undrafted free agents offered contracts by the team. The Panthers could have cut Barber even had he signed his free-agent offer, but Barber would have been entitled to keep whatever signing bonus he received.

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Jay Busbee is a writer for Yahoo Sports and the author of EARNHARDT NATION, on sale now at Amazon or wherever books are sold. Contact him at jay.busbee@yahoo.com or find him on Twitter or on Facebook.

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