Panthers free up another $2.4 million

When the Carolina Panthers signed Ron Edwards coming out of the lockout in 2011, the thinking was he’d give the team the run-stuffing defensive tackle it had lacked since Kris Jenkins left after the 2007 season.

It never came even close to working out that way and now Edwards’ time with the team is over. The Panthers announced Friday afternoon that they have released Edwards. The move frees up $2.4 million for a team that’s working to get under the salary cap.

His time in Carolina was star crossed almost from the beginning. Soon after his signing, he tore his triceps in training camp and missed the entire 2011 season. Edwards returned last season, but his impact was minimal.

Edwards started 11 games in 2012, making 16 tackles and recording one sack. But an elbow injury cut his season short.

At 33 and with a high salary, it was no longer practical for the Panthers to keep Edwards around. They can use some of the savings to try to re-sign defensive tackle Dwan Edwards, who had a productive 2012 season.

Former general manager Marty Hurney deserves credit for bringing in quarterback Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly. But disappointments like Edwards are the reason Hurney was fired midway through last season and why the Panthers face salary-cap challenges.