Panthers Part Ways with Veteran Running Back Jonathan Stewart

Veteran running back Jonathan Stewart has been released by the Panthers, Bryan Strickland of reports.

Stewart, selected in the first round of 2008 NFL Draft, has played every snap of his 10-year career with the Panthers and is Carolina’s all-time leading rusher. He had one year remaining on his contract.

“Jonathan played the game the way you want. He brought an element of toughness as a runner that set the tempo for our team,” head coach Ron Rivera said. “He is a great pro, and I appreciate who he is as a young man and thank him for the contribution he made.”

Making the move gives the Panthers significant salary cap relief and opens the door for young players to get more opportunities. Earlier this week, Carolina released safety Kurt Coleman and defensive end Charles Johnson with similar considerations in mind.

This past season, Stewart became the franchise leader in rushing yards, passing DeAngelo Williams in a Week 4 victory at the Patriots. Stewart has 7,318 career rushing yards on 1,699 carries – also a franchise record – and in 2009 he paired with Williams to become the first teammates in NFL history to rush for more than 1,110 yards apiece in the same season.

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