In the wake of the Panthers re-signing Bradley Bozeman and ensuring their entire starting offensive line from last season will return, they are releasing one of their former O-line starters.
Carolina cut ties with Pat Elflein on Tuesday, according to the team. This move will save the Panthers $4.3MM in cap space. Elflein began last season as a Carolina O-line starter, but an injury will lead the veteran blocker to relocate. By releasing Elflein now, Adam Caplan of Sirius XM notes the Panthers avoid payment of a $1MM roster bonus due later this week (Twitter link).
A Bozeman summer injury led Elflein to beginning the year as Carolina’s starting pivot, but a subsequent hip surgery ended the former third-round pick’s season. The former Vikings and Jets starter should be able to attract interest, but Elflein’s next deal likely will not match his three-year, $13.5MM pact considering the recent injury.
Elflein began his Panthers tenure as a guard in 2021, with Matt Paradis then in place at center, and he ended up starting 15 games for the team. But injuries intervened in each season. Elflein ended up missing 26 games over his two Panthers campaigns. The former Vikings third-round pick has not played 10 games in a season since 2019.
The Panthers’ two-year Bozeman re-up locks him in alongside Ikem Ekwonu, Taylor Moton, Brady Christensen and Austin Corbett. Headed into an age-29 season, Elflein — he of 64 career starts — will join a few interior line-starters-turned cap casualties (Graham Glasgow, Gabe Jackson, Matt Feiler) and attempt to find a spot in a starting five elsewhere.