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2016 NFL Draft Rumors: Carolina Panthers Drops Charles Johnson; Free Agent WR Jerricho Cotchery Not in Roster Plans?

( [email protected] ) Mar 09, 2016 10:04 AM EST
The Carolina Panthers has officially confirmed that defensive end Charles Johnson is no longer part of its roster. According to the team's general manager, one of the factors that influenced the Panthers' decision was the athlete's injury.
Jerricho Cotchery of the New York Jets running with the ball Wikimedia Commons/Ed Yourdon

The Carolina Panthers has officially confirmed that defensive end Charles Johnson is no longer part of its roster. According to the team's general manager, one of the factors that influenced the Panthers' decision was the athlete's injury.

"Charles was an impact player for the Carolina Panthers, for a long time, both on and off the field," GM Dave Gettleman said in a statement according to NFL.com. "His statistics speak for themselves, and as a team captain he led the way you want your leaders to lead - by example. I wish him the best moving forward."

Johnson is an NFL veteran and has been with the Panthers since 2007. During his time with the team, he had an average of 63.5 sacks and has been known as a prime pass rusher. However, last season, his performance dipped and only managed to earn seven tackles and one sack. He was also placed on injured reserve in September of last year due to a hamstring injury.

According to Gettleman, his injury status became one of the deciding factors regarding his departure from the team. The executive noted that although he has recovered and returned to the field, he wasn't at his 100 percent condition.

"It's hard because he got hurt," he said during last week's scouting combine. "He starts out, he got hurt, then he is working on his way back and it's like, alright, when is he 100 percent? So we are still going through that process."

As for other news about the Panthers, the Charlotte Observer recently reported that the team is not looking to retain wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery. This is according to a source who claims to be an insider for the league.

As a veteran free agent, Cotchery has played for various teams such as the New York Jets and Pittsburgh Steelers before staying with the Panthers. The insider, however, did not give specific details regarding the athlete's possible removal from the roster. But, it could have something to do with his three dropped passes during the team's Super Bowl 50 match against the Denver Broncos.

Due to the loss the Panthers suffered at the hands of the Broncos in February, it seems the former is cleaning up its roster. Aside from Johnson, other players who have been cut from the team include Cortland Finnegan, Charles Tillman and Roman Harper.

Tags : 2016 NFL Season, 2016 NFL Draft, 2016 NFL Trade, Carolina Panthers, Charles Johnson, Jerricho Cotchery, Super Bowl 50