Panthers release starting DT Edwards in cap move

The Panthers have released starting defensive tackle Ron Edwards
in a move that frees up $2.5 million in salary cap space.

Carolina coach Ron Rivera said Friday that the 12-year NFL
veteran ”set a great example on and off the field for our young
players. We wish him well moving forward.”

Edwards started 11 games in 2012, recording 16 tackles and one
sack before an elbow injury ended his season. Edwards missed all
over 2011 with a torn triceps after signing with Carolina. Edwards
has played in 139 games with 96 starts, recording 239 tackles and
16.5 sacks.

Edwards also played for Buffalo Bills (2001-05) and Kansas City
Chiefs (2006-10).

The Panthers considered Edwards a valuable run-stuffer whose
primary job was to take up two blockers, allowing their linebackers
to run free and make tackles. However, the fact he’s missed 21 of
32 games due to injury since coming to the team didn’t help his
cause.

Despite restructuring the contracts of center Ryan Kalil, safety
Haruki Nakamura, tight end Greg Olsen and tailback Jonathan
Stewart, the Panthers are still about $6.5 million over the
projected NFL salary cap.

The Panthers could clear an additional $7.9 million in salary
cap if they release veteran cornerback Chris Gamble, who finished
last season on injured reserve.

Carolina wants to re-sign their other starting defensive tackle
Dwan Edwards, who had seven sacks last season after coming over
from Buffalo. The Panthers have said re-signing Dwan Edwards, who
is an unrestricted free agent, is one of their top priorities.