CHARLOTTE -- The Panthers have released veteran defensive end Charles Johnson.
"Charles was an impact player for the Carolina Panthers for a long time, both on and off the field," general manager Dave Gettleman said. "His statistics speak for themselves, and as a team captain he led the way you want your leaders to lead – by example. I wish him the best moving forward."
Johnson started nine games for Carolina in 2015, missing seven games while on the injured reserve/designated to return list with a hamstring injury. He recorded one sack in the regular season. He started all three postseason games for the Panthers, recording three sacks.
"Charles has had a very good career as a Carolina Panther, and I've enjoyed coaching him the past five seasons," head coach Ron Rivera said. "Charles fought through adversity with his injury last season and set a great example for our locker room as a captain. I have a great deal of respect for Charles as a player and a person and thank him for all the contributions he has made to this team."
A veteran of nine NFL seasons, all with the Panthers, Johnson leaves Carolina with 63.5 sacks, the second-most in franchise history behind Julius Peppers' 81 from 2002-09. His 17 forced fumbles also rank second in team history. He recorded at least nine sacks in four consecutive years from 2010-13, a feat no other Panther has accomplished. He is one of three players in franchise history to have 10 or more sacks in at least three seasons after collecting 11.5 in 2010, a career-high 12.5 in 2012 and 11.0 in 2013.
Johnson entered the NFL from the University of Georgia as a third-round selection of Carolina in the 2007 NFL Draft. He played in 118 regular season games for the Panthers, the third-most among a defensive lineman in team history behind Mike Rucker's 139 and Julius Peppers' 122.
View photos of defensive end Charles Johnson during his ten seasons with the Panthers.