Shortly after releasing Kurt Coleman, Carolina will release another veteran starter from its Super Bowl team. The Panthers are planning to cut Charles Johnson, ESPN.com’s Adam Caplan reports (on Twitter).
This rumored maneuver comes a year after the Panthers re-signed the defensive end for two years and $8MM. It will create $3.25MM in cap space. They will not incur any dead-money charges because of this transaction.
Johnson has spent all 11 of his NFL years in Charlotte. The Panthers re-signed him to a mega-extension in 2011 and kept him around on an additional agreement last season. He’ll venture into the free agent market heading into his age-32 season.
Johnson started 11 games last season, missing four due to a PED-induced suspension, but did not record a sack. It marked the first time since he was a rookie that this occurred. He has 67.5 career sacks, but over the 2015-16 seasons, only 5.5 of those occurred. Johnson hasn’t produced a season with at least five sacks since he registered 8.5 in 2014.
With the releases of Coleman and Johnson, the Panthers created more than $5MM in cap space. This will push the team’s projected total north of $25MM. These cuts will also reduce the number of defensive starters from Super Bowl 50 still under contract to four. That game marked Johnson’s most recent playoff outing. He did not suit up for the Panthers’ wild-card loss to the Saints.
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