CHARLOTTE – The Carolina Panthers have released cornerback Chris Gamble, the franchise's all-time leader in interceptions.
Selected by the Panthers in the first round (28th overall) out of Ohio State in 2004, Gamble emerged as a starter from day one. He went on to record 27 career interceptions and 84 passes defensed as a fixture in the Carolina defensive backfield.
"I appreciate the contributions of Chris during my first two years as head coach and to the organization for many years," head coach Ron Rivera said. "He always handled things the right way and we wish him the best."
In six of his nine seasons with the Panthers, Gamble either led or tied for the team lead in interceptions. He also ranks second in team history with 326 interception return yards, third with 558 tackles and is tied for third with two interception returns for touchdowns.
Gamble entered the 2012 season as the third-longest tenured player on the Panthers' roster, as his nine years in Carolina trailed only wide receiver Steve Smith (12) and left tackle Jordan Gross (10).
A shoulder injury ended Gamble's 2012 campaign in Week 4, and he was placed on injured reserve for the first time in his career.
Young cornerbacks Josh Thomas, Josh Norman and James Dockery all had a chance to prove themselves when Gamble was lost for the season, and they remain options looking ahead to 2013.
Cornerback Captain Munnerlyn, who began last season as the nickel back and started in Gamble's absence, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent on March 12.