The move frees up $2.4 million for a team that is working frantically to get under the salary cap before the start of the league year on March 12.
Edwards was signed by the Panthers coming out of the 2011 lockout and was supposed to provide the team with a run-stuffer in the middle of the defensive line. But the signing never worked out because Edwards dealt with injuries throughout his Carolina tenure.
"We appreciate the contributions that Ron has made to the Panthers the past two seasons," coach Ron Rivera said. "He set a great example on and off the field for our young players, and we wish him well moving forward."
Edwards missed the entire 2011 season after suffering a triceps injury in training camp. Last season, Edwards started 11 games and had 16 tackles and one sack before an elbow injury cut his season short.
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.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.