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.