Ben Jacobs played on the past five Panthers teams, but the franchise will go in another direction. The Panthers plan to release the veteran linebacker, according to Field Yates of ESPN.com (on Twitter).
The Panthers signed Jacobs to a two-year deal in 2017. He played out that contract and was set for free agency in March. But this move will give the longtime special-teamer a chance to sign with a team in advance of the higher-profile signing period.
A former UDFA out of Fresno State, Jacobs caught on with the Panthers in 2013 and spent time on their practice squad before rising to the active roster. He has played in 16 games in four of the past five seasons, suiting up for six playoff contests as well.
Carolina will be moving on from Thomas Davis as well, per Davis, so the team may need to address its linebacker depth this offseason. However, the team did draft Jermaine Carter and Andre Smith on Day 3 of the 2018 draft. That helps explain allowing Jacobs to seek opportunities elsewhere.
If Jacobs opts against catching on with another team, or is unable to do so, the Panthers may be eyeing him for a coaching role, Joe Person of The Athletic tweets.
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