Panthers release veterans Kurt Coleman, Charles Johnson

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) — The Panthers released veteran safety Kurt Coleman and defensive end Charles Johnson, the team announced Monday, saving Carolina nearly $6 million in salary cap space.

Coleman, 29, played the past three seasons with the Panthers. He had 11 interceptions in that span, tied for fourth-best in the NFL. With Coleman leading the way, the Panthers have had 51 interceptions since 2015, second in the NFL.

Coleman was scheduled to count $5.15 million against the 2018 salary cap, according to reports; releasing him clears $2.65 million in cap space.

Releasing Johnson, meanwhile, clears another $3.25 million in cap space. Johnson, 31, signed a two-year extension last year worth $9.5 million.

Johnson spent 11 seasons with the Panthers after Carolina selected him in the third round of the 2007 draft. He played 143 games for Carolina, the most by any defensive lineman. He ranks second in franchise history with 67½ sacks and 20 forced fumbles.

Johnson was suspended four games last season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancers, and was inactive for the Panthers’ playoff game against New Orleans.

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