CHARLOTTE – The Panthers have released safety Kurt Coleman.
Coleman had two years remaining on a contract extension he signed before the 2016 season. Making the move gives the Panthers significant salary cap relief and opens the door for young players to get more opportunities.
"Kurt came in and brought leadership and direction to our young secondary. He helped us establish what our identity is," head coach Ron Rivera said. "He was a huge contributor to the growth and development of that unit. He carried himself and represented this organization very well." Coleman, after playing his first five NFL seasons with the Eagles and Chiefs primarily as a reserve, signed with the Panthers in 2015 and had a special season individually to help Carolina to a special season that extended to Super Bowl 50.
Coleman had 10 career interceptions when he came to Carolina but recorded seven in 2015, tied for third in the NFL and tied for second most in franchise history. He added four more interceptions in 2016 but didn't pick off any passes this past season and recorded just three passes defensed in 12 games played. The 29-year-old missed four games early in the year with a knee injury.
Around the same time Monday, the Panthers released defensive end Charles Johnson, a veteran of 11 NFL seasons. The team also waived offensive tackle John Theus, who was signed off waivers early last season but didn't appear in any games.
View the best photos of safety Kurt Coleman.