Panthers release starting CB Lucas in cap move

By MIKE CRANSTON, AP Sports Writer

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Carolina Panthers have released starting cornerback Ken Lucas in a move that clears about $2.3 million in salary-cap space.

The Panthers had been trying to work out a trade for the veteran, but Lucas vetoed a deal to the Detroit Lions last month and the Panthers on Wednesday cut him loose after he struggled late last season.

The Panthers signed Lucas to a six-year, $36 million free-agent deal in 2005 and he started 49 of 50 games with 13 interceptions.

But Lucas was burned on several occasions, and the Panthers appear poised to promote No. 3 cornerback Richard Marshall to the starting job opposite Chris Gamble.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)