Published: Sat, March 03, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Panthers release Jonathan Stewart

Panthers release Jonathan Stewart

Stewart helped Carolina to five playoff appearances, and holds franchise records for most career rushing yards (474), rushing attempts (101) and rushing touchdowns (5) in the playoffs.

Prior to the start of the 2018 NFL Scouting Combine, the Carolina Panthers released veteran running back Jonathan Stewart, which left the organization with a younger, less experienced backfield combination of Christian McCaffrey, Fozzy Whittaker and Cameron Artis-Payne. "He brought an element of toughness as a runner that set the tempo for our team", Panthers coach Ron Rivera said. Stewart, who leaves the Panthers as the franchise's all-time rushing leader, had one year remaining on his contract after reaching an extension with the club last spring.

Carolina saved $3.7 million against the salary cap by cutting Stewart.

Stewart ends his career at Carolina, where Hurney selected him in the first round of the 2008 draft, with 7,318 yards.

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Stewart was the team's leading rusher last season, and he racked up nearly 250 yards more than McCaffrey did in his rookie season. It might not be long before he finds another team. He picked up just 172 yards in his last six regular-season games. At 235 pounds, Stewart has the size Carroll prefers in his backs. Stewart averaged a career-low 3.4 yards per carry (680 yards on 198 carries), and his total yards were his fewest since 2013, when he was limited by injuries.

"I think there's several really good looking backs in this draft, and it's really about the guy that best fits what you want", Rivera said.

"Last year, we went to Tennessee for a preseason game and they got after us pretty good in the first quarter".

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