The Panthers also placed CB Zack Sanchez on waivers in a corresponding move.
Howard, 23, wound up signing a three-year, $1.66 million contract with the Colts as an undrafted free agent out of UNC back in May of last year. He was set to make base salaries of $465,000 and $555,000 over the first two years of the contract when the Colts cut him loose coming out of the preseason.
The Browns later signed him to their practice squad and brought him back on a futures contract this past January. However, he was later waived in April.
During his college career at UNC, Howard caught 124 passes for 1,770 yards receiving (14.3 YPC) to go along with 14 touchdowns over the course of 36 games.
Sanchez, 24, is a former fifth round of the Panthers back in 2016. He signed a four-year, $2.6 million contract with the Panthers but was waived coming out of the preseason and later signed to their practice squad.
The Panthers waived Sanchez with an injury settlement coming out of the preseason last year before later signing him to their practice squad back in October.
Sanchez returned to the Panthers this past January on a futures contract.
In 2016, Sanchez appeared in five games and recorded nine tackle and no interceptions or pass defenses.