Running back DeAngelo Williamstold WBTV in Charlotte this week that he has been released by the Carolina Panthers after nine seasons. On Monday, the team denied that it had done so and said it wouldn't announce anything on Williams for the rest of the day, reports David Newton of ESPN.
Williams rushed for a career-low 219 yards in 2014 after he was limited to six games by a thigh injury, injured ankle and broken hand. He said learned of the Panthers' intentions last week during a meeting with head coach Ron Rivera and general manager Dave Gettleman. Williams said the team cited, among other reasons, the presence of Jonathan Stewart, who at 27 is four years younger than Williams.
"I don't feel bitter at all. [Stewart] had the hot hand at the end of the season. He's a great running back, obviously, uh, I don't feel bitter at all. It's a business," Williams said. "And that business comes back and reminds us year after year - whether it be Steve Smith, whether it be Jordan Gross, whether it be myself - it's going to happen to every guy in that locker room, so it doesn't bother me at all."
The Panthers drafted Williams with the No. 27 pick in the 2006 draft out of Memphis. He made the Pro Bowl in 2009, and he was a second-team All-Pro selection in 2008. Williams battled ankle injuries for much of his career, but he posted thousand-yard rushing seasons in 2008 and 2009.
The Panthers made postseason appearances with Williams in 2008, 2013 and 2014.
- Mike Fiammetta