Panthers Release DE Chris Smith

In addition to releasing kicker Graham Gano, the Panthers parted ways with another vested veteran Thursday. They cut defensive end Chris Smith, David Newton of ESPN.com notes.

The Panthers signed Smith as a street free agent just before the new league year began. A six-year veteran, Smith signed a one-year deal with Carolina in March. He has played for the Jaguars, Bengals and Browns in a six-year career.

Smith’s two-year Cleveland tenure involved a tragedy; his girlfriend was killed in a traffic accident in September 2019. Smith played nine games for the Browns last season. He started two for Cleveland in 2018 but worked as a depth piece for the Jaguars and Bengals. He visited both the Bengals and Panthers in March.

Teams are gradually moving their rosters from the 90-man limit to 80 players, which will be the most teams can carry when on-field work begins August 16. While most teams have opted to cut less experienced players, the Panthers chose to jettison two more veterans during a year in which the team parted ways with numerous high-profile players.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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