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March 12, 2013

Panthers release LB James Anderson

(Updated at 3:10 p.m. with quotes from Anderson.)

For all seven of his professional years, James Anderson had called Carolina his home.

He'll be looking for a new one this offseason.

The Panthers released the linebacker Tuesday morning in a move that Anderson was related to the team's salary cap situation, as well as its glut of linebackers.

Anderson learned he was being cut when the Panthers asked him to come to Bank of America Stadium on Tuesday morning.

"Looking at some of the cap stuff and some of the moves that had been made, I wasn't quite sure I was going to be a move. But that's kind of part of the business," Anderson said in a phone interview Tuesday.

"They appreciate what I did. We're loaded at the position," Anderson added. "They thanked me and wanted me to go out and see what the market is like, which is why they're doing it now."

Anderson was due $2.9 million this season, and if he's marked as a June 1 cut, the move will free up $3 million toward the cap. If not, cutting Anderson would create only $200,000 in cap space.

Anderson, 29, signed a five-year, $22 million extension in 2011 after the Panthers went on their post-lockout spending spree.

Anderson, a third round pick by the Panthers in 2006, held the team record for most tackles in a single season with before rookie linebacker Luke Kuechly broke that mark in this past season.

He played in just 12 games in 2012 with a nagging lower back injury and tallied just 84 tackles. And he became somewhat extraneous with the return of WLB Thomas Davis in 2012 following three ACL surgeries.

His departure likely signals that Carolina is moving forward with a starting linebacking corps of WLB Davis, MLB Kuechly and sliding Jon Beason to strongside.

Anderson spent the offseason training with backup LB Jordan Senn in Oregon and said he feels better physically than he has in several years.

"I don't think they're doubting the fact that I could play and can continue to be a productive player," Anderson said. "It was just one of those moves."

--Jonathan Jones and Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on March 12, 2013 at 11:55 AM | Permalink


Not good!! What will we do when we need to rotate .. or worse when Beason or Davis get injured again?? Or even LK? FAIL

Posted by: AG | Mar 12, 2013 12:11:21 PM

Bad move. Shoulda kept Anderson and released Beason.

Posted by: Goddy | Mar 12, 2013 12:17:52 PM

Tough decesions had to be made. And please for the guy talking about injuries. James could get hurt too. Anybody could, you dont know.

Posted by: steve | Mar 12, 2013 12:22:32 PM

That's what you get when you refuse to play the guess who have consistently earned their time versus those who have been on IR. He has been the steady starter for the last 3.5 years.

Posted by: James | Mar 12, 2013 12:23:13 PM

Some team is about to get a really good linebacker!!!

Posted by: Demi | Mar 12, 2013 12:29:35 PM

Really?? He was only due 2.9 and we're already under the cap...wow

Posted by: Bobcat Terry | Mar 12, 2013 12:40:46 PM

Sure glad Hurney went out and signed all those valuable assets! That worked wel. Here's a thought - pay players for what they're GOING to do, not what they've done in the past...

Posted by: Kyle | Mar 12, 2013 12:41:13 PM

refer to the post by Goddy above. Exactly what they should have done.

why keep the highest paid cheerleader in the league (Beason) around another year? he hasn't performed since his contract year. when is his next contract year? don't expect much 'til then.

Posted by: Frank | Mar 12, 2013 12:41:37 PM

i guess jordan gross didnt want to restructure his deal.not sure this is the way i would have went.i would have cut charles godfrey over anderson

Posted by: jay | Mar 12, 2013 12:45:05 PM

As I have been saying, this team will be MUCH worse next year. 3-13 is about right. Jerry, you can move anytime you want. Sooner the better.

Posted by: UHaveToBeKiddingMe | Mar 12, 2013 12:45:39 PM

MOVE?!?!?!?! you should be slapped for saying that. Do I agree with this move? NO, but tough decisions have to be made thanks to Hurney. 3-13 is just stupid also. Obviously this guy doesn't know football or the business behind it. Just keep your idiotic comments to yourself.

Posted by: Chris | Mar 12, 2013 12:51:20 PM

It seems that neither Beason or Kueckly are at their best playing anywhere but in the middle so releasing Anderson who was the teams all time leader in tackles just two years ago playing the outside just doesn't make sense. I'd like to know what the teams savings against the cap would have been if Beason would have been released. Is this our new GMs first mistake?

Posted by: Logan | Mar 12, 2013 1:04:55 PM

he wasnt that good anyway, but we did lose depth

Posted by: bull123 | Mar 12, 2013 1:14:47 PM

Remember that 4pm isnt here yet and Beason could be forced to restructure or face the same fate. I say release them both and possibly Gross and free up that money to bring in a fresh crop of free agent talent. WR,T,CB then go to the draft and get a S and DT or two.

Posted by: Michael | Mar 12, 2013 1:22:14 PM

You'd better have a good linebacker corps when your defensive line can't knock a toddler off the line of scrimmage. Anderson will be missed, they're banking on a guy who has had 3 acl injuries, mighty big gamble.

Posted by: The Ambassador | Mar 12, 2013 1:22:23 PM

cutting Beason would not have created any cap space. Have you not read any posts regarding that in the past two weeks? Even the Observer reported on it.

Posted by: Panthers46 | Mar 12, 2013 1:24:02 PM

What if we manage to draft Lotuleilei and then change to a 3-4 defense? Kuechly, Beason, Davis, and pick up a 'tweener to play the Rush LB.

Posted by: Authority | Mar 12, 2013 1:39:43 PM

Already announced that we would play some 3-4 but our overall scheme would remain a 4-3

Posted by: Chris | Mar 12, 2013 1:45:31 PM

I agree with some fans that this is a bad move for the Panthers. James Anderson was a team player and played at an All-Pro level in 2011 with all of the LB injuries. I also agree with some of the fans here that for the upcoming season with a "lame duck" coach that the Panthers will probably finish dead last in the NFC South at 3-13 because of the deep lack of talent and depth. Gettleman inherited a mess and it will take years to straigten it out. He is making the necessary cuts but he has so far done very little to improve the roster. Very few quality free agents will be signed and the Panthers have only five draft picks to work with thanks to trademan Hurney. No new talent equals the bottom of the pile. No wonder USA Today picked the Panthers dead last for free agent activity. Cut and sign cheap cast offs and that will get the job done. Nothing new here under the sun.

Posted by: Whitecomet77 | Mar 12, 2013 1:48:32 PM

First the move was nt dumb, the season where he did rack up all those tackles 2 starters were hurt, nt sayin he is nt good but this is a tough cut that we have been talkin about. We not runnin ah 3-4 the last I
checked so its gud, grow some nuts nd deal with the
move. Because ne other day u we wuld complainin about not doing nothing in FA nd how we make dumb resignings.

Posted by: Rell | Mar 12, 2013 2:03:07 PM

Lls 3-13? Really come on, because we didnt resign Anderson? Nd I guess ppl knw d new GM real well to know we wont get quality free agents; truth remains no one knows whats gonna happen this offseason.

Posted by: Rell | Mar 12, 2013 2:06:54 PM

Chris, I have forgotten more about football than you will ever know. The Panthers are what they have been for half a decade, one of the worst teams in pro sports. Look at the records, they don't lie. Now you are free to go back to your regular name, Jock Sniffing Kook.

Posted by: UHaveToBeKiddingMe | Mar 12, 2013 2:08:48 PM

At first I thought this was a bad move but after seeing Anderson's numbers last year it makes a little more sense. Only 39 solo tackles in 12 games. May be a sign of him trending downward as a player. Would have been nice to see if we could find a draft pick somewhere for him but trades are tough to pull off in the NFL. Panthers' linebackers will be alright. Jordan Senn provides some depth and will be counted on to be the 4th linebacker. Ready for the season!

Posted by: Fraser | Mar 12, 2013 2:09:42 PM

Richie Brockel tender, where is the news?

Posted by: PanthersFan | Mar 12, 2013 2:27:31 PM

Terrible move, considering Anderson's performance and toughness over the last 3+ years. I don't expect Beason will return to his former self, and we still need solid depth at LB. Oh well...if this is an example of what Gettleman will do, then I hope his tenure here is very short.

Posted by: J. Mixon | Mar 12, 2013 2:32:25 PM

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