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March 13, 2012

Panthers release Travelle Wharton

The Panthers released veteran offensive lineman Travelle Wharton today in a move that cleared more than $3.8 million in cap space.

Wharton, a third-round draft choice from South Carolina in 2004, started 99 games in eight seasons with the Panthers, including all 16 games last year at left guard.

But Wharton, 30, was set to make $5.7 million in base salary this year, with a cap figure of $7.6 million.

The Panthers instead chose to re-sign veteran guard Geoff Hangartner to a three-year contract. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although Hangartner made $1 million last year and likely will not approach Wharton's salary number in his new deal.

“It was an extremely difficult decision on Travelle,” Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said in a release.

“He’s been a tremendous player for us and he is a class act. It got to the point where in the big picture we decided it was a move we needed to make. We placed a June 1 designation on his release, which means we will carry his cap number until June 1, but Travelle is immediately able to negotiate and sign with another team.”

The June 1 designation will allow the Panthers to spread out the $3.7 million cap hit over the next two years.

The Panthers also declined to tender restricted free agent guard Geoff Schwartz and let fifth-year guard Mackenzy Bernadeau become a free agent. Those moves leave the Panthers with three guards on the roster – Hangartner, Zack Williams and Bryant Browning – although Garry Williams and Byron Bell can play guard and tackle.

 --Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on March 13, 2012 at 06:36 PM | Permalink


Typical Hurney move, sign a backup to replace a solid starter.

I cannot wait until they fire him. Only 3 winning seasons under belt with a buttload of excuses of why they aren't winning. You heard it here first, the Panthers will not win a Superbowl with Marty Hurney as the GM.

Posted by: Mark | Mar 13, 2012 6:45:29 PM

OK Stumpy (see 1st comment on previous article),

So who was speaking "drivel"? You or Joe?

Posted by: John | Mar 13, 2012 6:54:20 PM

Move Bell to G, that simple.

Posted by: Gret | Mar 13, 2012 6:56:15 PM

Great move!

Posted by: Chris | Mar 13, 2012 6:57:05 PM

Oh please, can't you find something else to whin about other than Marty? Letting Wharton go was the right move, he's 30 and was going to make too much money. Getting rid of guys before they're too old is smart.
The Panther's have always kept older players too long, hopefully that's changing now. Best of luck to Wharton, he was solid, but it's time to move on.

Posted by: Kenny | Mar 13, 2012 6:58:13 PM

Should've been Jeff Otah.
Otah's making more money and has played 3 games in two seasons, and has yet to play in more than 12 games in a season, and he only did that once in his rookie year.

Posted by: d | Mar 13, 2012 7:08:20 PM

They should try to resign him with a less expensive contract

Posted by: panthers4life | Mar 13, 2012 7:09:07 PM

okay one mistake..OTah actually did play in 13 games his second year.

Still point reamains, can't stay healthy and would've been a smarter cut than Wharton

Posted by: d | Mar 13, 2012 7:10:00 PM

your other mistake was that Otah is making LESS THAN HALF of what wharton would have made this year...

Posted by: tmack652 | Mar 13, 2012 7:22:40 PM

"Otah's making more money and has played 3 games in two seasons,"

smh Otah is only schedule to make $1 million this year. Wharton is being paid top 5-10 money for a guy who is decent at best.

"Typical Hurney move, sign a backup to replace a solid starter"

lmao so he was worth to keep at $7.6 million for this year? Hurney still needs to go though.

Posted by: lol | Mar 13, 2012 7:26:19 PM

Wharton was an expected cap causality. Hangartner is the starter at RG. Guess they think enough of Bell to start him at LG?

Posted by: OBXsurfer4 | Mar 13, 2012 7:28:09 PM

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Posted by: tmack652 | Mar 13, 2012 7:31:08 PM

Gotta say I was thinking Otah as well, but I wasn't going to go out there and boldy proclaim it without knowing the money situation.

I'm shocked he's making so little, seeing as he was a 1st round pick just a few years ago..then again he probably restructured at some point

Posted by: noI'manotherguy | Mar 13, 2012 7:39:00 PM

All in all, Travelle has been fairly solid for us. I'm concerned that we will be hurting at OL this coming year. If Otah doesn't play in at least 13 games this year, it could come back to haunt us. Can't say keeping Wharton at that price makes sense though. Good Luck Travelle!

Posted by: MrMixx | Mar 13, 2012 7:53:14 PM

"fairly solid" is not good enough of a player to keep when you have to cut.

Posted by: tom | Mar 13, 2012 8:05:02 PM

Otah is making $1.07 mil. I was surprised by this as well. This was the only choice they had. He was a decent player but not worth that amount of money. Williams will be fine

Posted by: BVO | Mar 13, 2012 8:05:22 PM

Keeping Geoff was a good move, as he has solid experience at center and filled in well when Ryan got nicked up.

Posted by: Ghoul | Mar 13, 2012 8:27:49 PM

Who signed Travelle Wharton to that contract in the first place? I'm still not a big Hurney fan: All he has really done was draft well in the 1st round. Aside from that, he's mortgaged the future by trading away high draft picks, Unreasonably signs our own/other veteran agents (Delhomme, Davis, Johnson anyone?), been a poor cap manager, and poorly drafts after the 1st round. I hope he's learned from those mistakes and start making good, solid moves. Go Panthers!!

Posted by: PantherFan | Mar 13, 2012 8:29:13 PM

Alright wish this was Otah, but will due. Now that Davis restructured who was first on my cut list please due away w/ Captain "How I'm I possibly a starting NFL CB" Munnerlyn and get a top level CB.

Posted by: Scott | Mar 13, 2012 8:31:44 PM

Munnerlyn is a good number 3 though, and his deal isn't excessive.
We need to replace him as a starter, but who would be the number 3 if he left?

Although I guess Hogan and Butler both looked adequate last year so we might be okay if Munnerlyn were cut...

Posted by: noI'manotherguy | Mar 13, 2012 8:49:02 PM

you see most fans just watch and then think they know what is going on "marty has to free up some money looking at draft to find our guard otah is due for his breakout season ,when healthy ,he is one of the best in the nfl and marty is banking he stays healthy. d backs will be next to go

Posted by: wbrazell | Mar 13, 2012 8:54:27 PM

Otah isn't due for a break-out anything.
I didn't know he had such a small contract though, that's the only reason I don't care what happens to him.

Posted by: noI'manotherguy | Mar 13, 2012 8:56:50 PM

So it only took restructuring Davis and cutting Wharton to get under the cap? I guess so, since no one else appears to have been released, which tells me that we must barely be under the cap, and that means we aren't signing anyone soon.

Posted by: Kenny | Mar 13, 2012 9:03:36 PM

now now just because all our pro teams have been sucking canes bobcats and panthers dont mean we woun't get lucky. my biggest thing is how cam will handle this up coming year. the nfl is a bag of tricks you might get away with something this year but you bet next year you better have some new tricks because fool me once shame on you fool me twice shame on me. that goes for tebow and new coaches

Posted by: wbrazell | Mar 13, 2012 9:06:17 PM

Reduce Chris Gamble's cap number to $2.5 Million or let him walk. The Ohio product hasn't produced since he got the new contract.

Posted by: Bill Polian | Mar 13, 2012 9:13:27 PM

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