The Carolina Panthers announced the release of veteran DE Charles Johnson on Thursday.
“His statistics speak for themselves, and as a team captain he led the way you want your leaders to lead – by example,” said GM Dave Gettleman.
Tom Pelissero reports that the Panthers offered Johnson the ability to take a pay cut before they released him. Pelissero adds that it’s not out of the question he ends up back there in free agency.
Johnson carried a staggering 2016 cap figure of $15 million and represented the easiest source of cap relief for the Panthers, so this shouldn’t come as a complete surprise.
Johnson, 29, was entering the sixth year of his six-year, $76 million contract that included $32 million guaranteed. He was set to make a base salary of $10.75 million in 2016 as part of this agreement.
According to OverTheCap.com, releasing Johnson will free up $11 million in available cap space while creating $4,020,000 in dead money.
In 2015, Johnson has appeared in nine games and recorded 12 tackles, a sack and a pass defense for the Panthers.