Panthers part ways with veteran running back Jonathan Stewart - | WBTV Charlotte

Panthers part ways with veteran running back Jonathan Stewart

Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28) tries to gain yards against New Orleans Saints free safety Marcus Williams (43) during the first half in their NFC Wild Card playoff game. Stewart was released by the team. (David T. Foster | Charlotte Observer) Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart (28) tries to gain yards against New Orleans Saints free safety Marcus Williams (43) during the first half in their NFC Wild Card playoff game. Stewart was released by the team. (David T. Foster | Charlotte Observer)

INDIANAPOLIS (Jordan Rodrigue/Charlotte Observer) - The Carolina Panthers have cut running back Jonathan Stewart after 10 seasons, a source told the Observer on Wednesday. The team later confirmed the news.

Stewart, who will be 31 in March, had a year left on his contract with a salary cap number of $5.2 million. Releasing him creates $3.7 million in salary cap room for the Panthers.

“Jonathan played the game the way you want,” head coach Ron Rivera said in a statement to the team website. “He brought an element of toughness as a runner that set the tempo for our team.”

In 2017, Stewart passed DeAngelo Williams as the franchise’s all-time leading rusher, with 7,318 yards. He ranks second in franchise history with 51 rushing touchdowns and 16 100-yard rushing games.

The move puts the Panthers in the market for a power-runner who can complement pass-catching back Christian McCaffrey.

One such back on the roster is Cameron Artis-Payne, an Auburn product who was drafted in the fifth round in 2015. Artis-Payne has played in 23 games in his career with 99 carries, 422 yards and four touchdowns.

Carolina released two other veteran players this week in cost-cutting moves. Defensive end Charles Johnson and safety Kurt Coleman were cut on Monday.

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