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August 01, 2013

Geoff Hangartner "blindsided" by timing of release from Panthers


SPARTANBURG 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.

Panthers coach Ron Rivera texted Hangartner Thursday morning asking him to come talk, Hangartner said. 

"I was definitely surprised," Hangartner told the Observer in a phone interview. "I knew there was competition in camp and I was going to have to have a good camp. But I definitely didn’t see getting released at this time."

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. He admitted Thursday that he struggled in the 2012 season.

“I didn’t have my best year last year, but I definitely was a little blindsided by the move because I can play center and guard," he said. 

Hangartner was set to make $1.575 million this season.

"It's difficult, obviously any time you have a friend, to watch him, we've been here three years together and gone through a lot of stuff," backup quarterback Derek Anderson said. "To watch guys go, you expect it sometimes with the younger guys and most of the time it's later with the older guys, but it's tough. We're going to rebound and someone's going to have to step up and fill that role."

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. According to league sources, at this time a deal with Wharton is not imminent. Wharton is said to looking for more than the veteran's minimum contract.

Carolina doesn’t have much depth behind Williams at right guard as of now with Kugbila sidelined and Byers now taking backup center duties.

Rivera will address the media after today's afternoon practice.

--Jonathan Jones and Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on August 1, 2013 at 11:42 AM | Permalink


Sucks for the guy that wrote the Hangartner article yesterday, lol.

And Hangargtner, obviously.

Though his blocking was pretty subpar last season, and it's hardly surprising that they'd consider replacing him.

Posted by: swizzlesticks | Aug 1, 2013 11:47:12 AM

Mostly surprising in that there is no apparent replacement on the roster, and he was considered a leader by most.

Posted by: swizzlesticks | Aug 1, 2013 11:48:12 AM

Would be nice to have the reason to his release in the article...

Posted by: Kelly Tripuka | Aug 1, 2013 12:05:20 PM

Why does the Observer constantly get "scooped" on Panthers news? Seems that most stories are old news by the time they are covered here...

Posted by: NW | Aug 1, 2013 12:14:24 PM

NW the answer to your question is very simple. C.O. is too busy covering Carolina Tarheel news than focusing on local coverage of sports teams in this area! We're not the Triangle!!!

Posted by: The Three Degrees | Aug 1, 2013 12:19:18 PM

The Panthers obviously have a plan.....we just don't know what it is yet.

Posted by: Section524 | Aug 1, 2013 12:37:43 PM

It's not you, it's me.

Posted by: George Costanza | Aug 1, 2013 12:41:50 PM

here we go again panther execs making moves before they have healthy replacements same on same old.

Posted by: shots956 | Aug 1, 2013 12:46:19 PM

here we go again panther execs making moves before they have healthy replacements same on same old.

Posted by: shots956 | Aug 1, 2013 12:46:19 PM

Another from the Hurney era gone :(

Posted by: Marty Hurney | Aug 1, 2013 12:47:05 PM

Trade in sight!

Posted by: BofA Fan | Aug 1, 2013 1:01:49 PM

can't see the logic in this considering how bad byers was at both positions last year. he's the ideal guy to have as a backup because he saves you the need for another lineman eating up a roster spot. dude must have been REALLY bad in the first week of camp.

really hard to understand with the guy he's harpooning sitting on the sidelines. hope he has another guy lined up to be signed.

Posted by: charlottean | Aug 1, 2013 1:04:54 PM

When you say in the article his immediate competition is a D-III lineman and fourth round pick you aren't saying much of the guy as starter potential.

That being said I guess we have some master plan to grab someone to replace?!?!

Posted by: adrcov | Aug 1, 2013 1:09:15 PM

How bad must you be to be released this early into training camp?! Yowza!!

Posted by: superlucchic | Aug 1, 2013 1:18:01 PM

There must be a plan in place to improve the position. Kind of like last year to this year with our secondary. Still waiting....

Posted by: Jellybean | Aug 1, 2013 1:18:04 PM

this sets a tone for everyone else i guess

Posted by: big gulps | Aug 1, 2013 1:27:25 PM

This one is a real head scratcher. I am glad that I am not the one making these decisions. I guess the job goes to Kugbila if he can ever get on the field. Go figure?

Posted by: Whitecomet77 | Aug 1, 2013 1:36:34 PM

Makes sense to me we do not need linemen that make that much and play that bad. I heard he was one of the lowest rated guards=centers last year.

Posted by: mason | Aug 1, 2013 1:39:35 PM

I was thinking the same thing, swizzlesticks. I JUST read the article on Hangartner this morning and then I turn around and a couple of hours later, he's gone! LOL! I guess NFL really does stand for "Not For Long".

Got to trust they know what they are doing, but shocked me as well.

Posted by: newman | Aug 1, 2013 1:45:55 PM

Wow, pretty sure the consensus here is that everyone is shocked. As well as myself. Really can't understand this move. He must've been really really really horrible in camp and OTA's.

Posted by: Elliott | Aug 1, 2013 1:58:44 PM

There must be a couple FAs they are intersted in and needed some space on the roster for them. Wharton can play guard - so he may be back with the team soon.

Posted by: Dom | Aug 1, 2013 2:09:22 PM

Unless there is an underlying issue. This could be a blunder of a move.

Posted by: par404 | Aug 1, 2013 2:12:56 PM

Look for Rivera to bring over someone the Chargers cut that he "liked back when he was there".

Posted by: big gulps | Aug 1, 2013 2:27:51 PM

^ Too funny

Posted by: emlit | Aug 1, 2013 2:41:12 PM

I would convert Aremantie Edwards to an offensive lineman.

Posted by: Marty Hernia | Aug 1, 2013 2:42:46 PM

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