Published: Sat, March 03, 2018
Sport | By Floyd Cook

Panthers release RB Jonathan Stewart after 10 seasons

Panthers release RB Jonathan Stewart after 10 seasons

Yet, it's somewhat surprising they released veteran Jonathan Stewart, who's been with the team for the past 10 seasons.

Even if Stewart is leaving the Panthers as the team's all-time rusher, the fact that he's coming off a 2017 season in which he rushed for just 680 yards is just one of a few examples as to why the team was willing to move on. Set to turn 31 years old in March and with his productivity on the decline, Stewart may be hard pressed to find work elsewhere as anything more than a low-usage depth back. Stewart missed three games to injury in three straight seasons.

The move comes after the Panthers drafted running backs Christian McCaffrey and Curtis Samuel in the first and second rounds, respectively, in the 2017 NFL Draft.

Earlier this week, the team also released veteran safety Kurt Coleman and defensive end Charles Johnson.

Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28) is tackled by New Orleans Saints outside linebacker Craig Robertson (52) and other defenders during the second quarter in the NFC Wild Card playoff game at Mercedes-Benz Superdome.

In the last week, the Carolina Panthers have cleared over $30 Million in Cap Space, opening the door to sign a key free agent or two.

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"Jonathan played the game the way you want", head coach Ron Rivera said in a statement to the team website.

"He is a great pro, and I appreciate who he is as a young man and thank him for the contribution he made".

He leaves as Carolina's all-time leader in carries (1,699) and rushing yards (7,318).

Stewart was the team's leading rusher last season, and he racked up nearly 250 yards more than McCaffrey did in his rookie season.

At age 30, Stewart would be cheap on what would likely be a low-risk, short-term deal for a Seahawks team that is tight against the salary cap.

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