In a move not many saw coming, the Panthers released veteran offensive lineman Geoff Hangartner on Thursday.
Hangartner, a nine-year veteran having played six years with Carolina, entered camp as the incumbent starter at right guard. His primary competition, fourth-round pick Edmund Kugbila, missed most of spring practice and all of training camp with a sore leg and hamstring strain.
Hangartner started four games at right guard last season before Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil went down with a broken foot. He slid to center midway through the season, where he played eight games before succumbing to injury. Hangartner was set to make $1.575 million this season.
Kalil got the day off at practice Tuesday and Hangartner went to center while Garry Williams took over at right guard. Jeff Byers, who much like Hangartner is a versatile lineman, took the backup center role.
The Panthers were courting veteran lineman Travelle Wharton before camp, and the former Panther met with management but left Charlotte without a deal. Carolina doesnt have much depth behind Williams at right guard as of now with Kugbila sidelined and Byers now taking backup center duties.
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