Panthers cut veteran DT Edwards after two seasons

The Carolina Panthers cut veteran defensive tackle Ron Edwards on Friday as the team continues to work to clear cap space by the March 12 deadline.

Edwards, who has been in the league for the past 12 seasons, spent the past two years with the Panthers. In 11 games for Carolina in 2012, Edwards recorded 16 tackles and a sack.

However, he finished the season on injured reserve with an elbow ailment, just one season after suffering a torn triceps muscle that ended his 2011 campaign.

“We appreciate the contributions that Ron has made to the Panthers the past two seasons,” said Carolina coach Ron Rivera in a statement on the team’s website. “He set a great example on and off the field for our young players, and we wish him well moving forward.”

All NFL teams must be below the salary cap when the new league year starts on March 12.

The NFL announced on Feb. 28 that the salary cap for next year has grown from $120.6 million in 2012 to $123.9 million in 2013, which includes a $900,000 minimum salary benefit for each team.

Carolina is still around $6.5 million over the NFL salary cap despite restructuring several contracts, including running back Jonathan Stewart, tight end Greg Olsen and center Ryan Kalil.

The next likely move for the Panthers will be to release cornerback Chris Gamble to clear around $7.9 million, putting the Panthers around $1.4 million under the NFL’s cap number.

Gamble has spent his entire NFL career with Carolina after being drafted by the team with the 28th pick in the 2004 NFL Draft.

He is the franchise’s all-time leader in career passes defended (94) and career interceptions (27).