Panthers have released veteran defensive end, Charles Johnson, following a two sack season where he spent the majority of that time on designated to return IR with a hamstring injury. Johnson finishes ranked second in franchise history with 63.5 sacks and 17 forced fumbles.
After back to back 11 sack seasons in 2012-13, Johnson's age seemed to start catching up to him. Over the last two seasons, he totaled only 9.5 sacks. At 29, Johnson isn't old, but the money is just too much for the production. The Panthers will clear $11 million cap space with this move. With the emergence of a young Kony Ealyand the Panthers possibly targeting a defensive end in the draft anyway, this was an easy decision.
Josh Norman's franchise tag and Johnson's release leaves the Panthers with about 26 million in cap space, which plenty of room to lock up young elite defensive tackle Kawaan Short and possibly bring in a veteran to help mold younger defensive ends.
We at C3 would like to thank Johnson for all that he's done for this organization and city. We wish him the best with the rest of his career. Sometimes moves just have to be made, as we have have seen for three consecutive seasons now with the releases of veterans Steve Smith, DeAngelo Williams, and now Charles Johnson. So far all of these have panned out, and I will say again, Dave Gettleman has given no reason to doubt him yet.