|Panthers release veteran OL Geoff Hangartner|
|Written by Admin|
|Thursday, 01 August 2013 08:34|
Hangartner has started 83 games, including 12 last season for Carolina, during his eight-year career with the Panthers and Buffalo Bills.
The move was a bit surprising considering Hangartner had been running with the first team at camp, and the player Carolina drafted to eventually replace him - Edmund Kugbila from Valdosta State - has missed the majority of training camp with a pulled hamstring after sitting out OTAs with a knee injury.
Backup quarterback Derek Anderson called Hangartner one of the most popular players in the locker room, saying, ``It's tough, but somebody is going to have to step up.''
Hangartner was due to make $1.575 million this year.
Garry Williams, who has started 20 games in his first four seasons, is expected to step in and work with the first team at right guard - at least on a temporary basis.
Williams started nine games last season for Carolina, most of those at right guard after the team was forced to move Hangartner to center because of a season-ending injury to Pro Bowler Ryan Kalil.
Jordan Gross, who has played six seasons with Hangartner, said he was surprised and saddened by the move.
``He got a text to go see coach (Ron) Rivera first thing in the morning, and that's never good news,'' Gross said. ``Honestly, I was wondering if he was going to get traded to Denver, because they have a (injury) situation there. But yes, it surprised me.''
Teammates often referred to Hangartner by his nickname, ``Piggy.''
Gross said it's a solemn reminder that the NFL is a business.
``You hope that management knows what they're doing and that it is for the better and it will make us a better team,'' Gross said. ``That's really what we have to focus on.''
The Panthers met with free agent guard Travelle Wharton a few weeks ago but have not signed him. The 32-year-old Wharton played for the Panthers from 2004-11, starting 99 games during that span before signing with the Cincinnati Bengals.