The Carolina Panthers have released DeAngelo Williams after an injury-plagued season.
In a move that shouldn’t come as a surprise the Carolina Panthers released their all-time leading rusher on Monday, parting ways with running back DeAngelo Williams after nine seasons with the club, according to Molly Grantham.
Williams was limited to six games in the regular season after injuries kept him on the inactive list for much of the year as he saw Jonathan Stewart steal his starting job and make him an afterthought in the playoffs.
The writing was on the wall for Williams after only rushing for 219 yards on 62 carries, none of them going for a touchdown, last year as Stewart excelled as the started. Stewart rushed for an average of 97 yards per game in the last five regular season games and the team’s two playoff games, including three total touchdowns.
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Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman gave some cryptic comments last week that Williams may have played his last down with the team.
“I spoke to DeAngelo. We had a great conversation. It’s private, it’s confidential. It’s between us,” Gettleman said, via nfl.com. “DeAngelo had a tough season. He lost his mom who he was very close to. He dedicated the season to her, and he just couldn’t stay healthy. And it was really hard for him.
“Then he broke his hand against Minnesota. That’s hard, especially when you’re 32. A 32-year-old running back in the NFL. It was extremely difficult. But he finished the season like a pro’s pro, and like a man. And I really respect DeAngelo for the way he finished it. We had our conversation and we’ll probably continue, and that’s where I’m going to leave it.”
Last year the Panthers parted ways with their all-time leading receiver when they cut Steve Smith and one year later the all-time leading rusher is gone as the Panthers usher in a new generation led by quarterback Cam Newton, Stewart and last year’s first round pick, Kelvin Benjamin.
In nine seasons, Williams rushed for 6,846 yards and 46 touchdowns, including an NFL-high 18 touchdowns in 2008 when he ran for a career-high 1,515 yards.
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