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Panthers release defensive end Charles Johnson

The Carolina Panthers have released defensive end Charles Johnson.
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The Carolina Panthers have released defensive end Charles Johnson, the team announced Thursday.

Johnson played in nine games for the Panthers in 2015, recording only one sack and 12 combined tackles. Johnson’s sack total was his lowest since his rookie season, when he had zero.

Johnson was drafted by the Panthers in the third round of the 2007 draft. His 63.5 sacks are second in franchise history.

“His statistics speak for themselves, and as a team captain he led the way you want your leaders to lead – by example,” Carolina general manager Dave Gettleman said in a statement.

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Carolina signed Johnson to a six-year, $76 million deal in 2011, but the deal was restructured in each of the last two off-seasons to reduce its salary cap hit. Johnson, 29, will be an unrestricted free agent.