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Carolina Panthers

Panthers release linebacker Damien Wilson

Damien Wilson

CHARLOTTE — The Panthers parted ways Friday with a player who fell out of the defensive plans last year.

The team released linebacker Damien Wilson, clearing some needed salary cap room in the process.

The 29-year-old Wilson was signed to a two-year deal last offseason as they hoped to find a bigger and more physical inside linebacker.

But Wilson fell completely out of the rotation as the season progressed, playing just four defensive snaps in the final eight games (after the loss at Cincinnati).

With the Panthers transitioning to a 3-4 defense this year, Wilson wasn't necessarily viewed as a fit, and now he has a head start on free agency.

Teams can begin negotiating with other teams' free agents on March 13, and the league year begins on March 15, at which point teams can sign players and execute trades.

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