Panthers pass on Vernon Butler's fifth-year option


CHARLOTTE – The Panthers have declined to pick up the fifth-year option on defensive tackle Vernon Butler contract.

Friday was the NFL deadline for teams to pick up the option for their 2016 first-round draft picks.

The 2019 season will be the fourth and final one for Butler under his rookie contract, which he signed after being selected 30th overall in 2016. Over his first three seasons, Butler has totaled 45 tackles and 2.0 sacks.