After falling to the division rival Saints in the Wild Card Playoffs in January, the Carolina Panthers will be looking to elevate their roster to take them to the next level in 2018. And recent reports indicate that 10-year veteran Jonathan Stewart might not be a part of these plans.
Jonathan Stewart a cut candidate for Panthers https://t.co/9WGX5R2oyL— Rotoworld Football (@Rotoworld_FB) February 21, 2018
A Pro Bowl running back in 2015, Stewart is coming off perhaps his worst statistical season in his career. He had a career-low 3.4 yards per carry in 2017, and saw much of his workload go to rookie sensation Christian McCaffrey. With McCaffrey's success last season, which included 1,000-plus yards of total offense, Stewart looks much more expendable then he did a couple years ago.
Cutting Jonathan Stewart, who has only ever played for Carolina, would save the Panthers $3.7 million in cap space, with the remaining $1.5 million of his salary becoming dead money. It's worth noting that other teams across the league have set the precedent this offseason for cutting veterans, with big names such as LB Brian Cushing and RB Doug Martin already being released from their respective organizations.
The Panthers are at risk of losing First Team All-Pro guard Andrew Norwell in free agency this offseason as well, and cutting Stewart could be a way of freeing up more cap space to help keep the star lineman around.
Stewart has amassed over 7,300 yards and 58 total touchdowns in his career. In many ways, seeing him wearing another team's jersey would feel awfully strange.