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Panthers release veteran RB Jonathan Stewart, the franchise's all-time leading rusher

Panthers release veteran RB Jonathan Stewart, the franchise's all-time leading rusher

They'll save over $3.7 million and just hold onto $1.5 million in dead money to move on from an aging Stewart and commit to McCaffrey as the new full-time starter.

The Carolina Panthers have released veteran running back Jonathan Stewart.

We ran a couple straight downhill plays with Jonathan and you could see everybody kind of pick up after that point.

Stewart, who will be 31 in March, had a year left on his contract with a salary cap number of $5.2 million. The Panthers now have close to $30 million in cap space.

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




Stewart, who was drafted by the Panthers in the first round of the 2008 NFL Draft, finished last season with 680 rushing yards and six touchdowns.

Over Stewart's 10-year tenure, the Panthers led the NFL in total rushing yards (21,537) and ranked second in the league in rushing touchdowns (176). He has 7,318 career rushing yards on 1,699 carries, also a franchise record.

Seahawks coach Pete Carroll has already promised to return Seattle's offense to the run in 2018, and to up the roster competition at running back. It might not be long before he finds another team.

At age 30, Stewart would be affordable on what would likely be a low-risk, short-term deal for a Seahawks team that is tight against the salary cap. Remember Marshawn Lynch in Seattle? He can still play, but he averaged just 3.5 yards-per carry last season and running back is one of the easiest and cheapest positions to replace. Former Jacksonville running back Chris Ivory, 29, is making free-agent visits this week.

Yet the mere thought of Stewart coming home to play is at least possible.

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