2:10pm: The Panthers have informed agent Doug Hendrickson that they’re releasing veteran defensive back Charles Godfrey, Hendrickson announced today (via Twitter). The move will open up a spot on Carolina’s 53-man roster, though neither Godfrey’s release nor a corresponding signing has been announced so far.
Godfrey, 28, was sidelined for most of the 2013 season after tearing his Achilles early in the year. While the Panthers elected to keep him on the roster through the offseason and for the start of the 2014 campaign, the team reworked his contract significantly, reducing his base salary by more than $4MM and converting some of that money to per-game roster bonuses.
After starting all but one of his 73 games for Carolina during his first five years with the team, Godfrey began this season playing a lesser role, appearing in just 84 defensive snaps through four games. However, he was forced into more frequent action in recent weeks and struggled with the increased workload, according to Pro Football Focus (subscription required). PFF’s data gave Godfrey a -0.5 grade for his play through the first four weeks, and a -9.9 mark for the last three weeks.
Because Godfrey is a vested veteran, he won’t have to pass through waivers, so other teams are free to bring him in for a workout or offer him a contract immediately after the move becomes official.