The Carolina Panthers had some work to do in order to be salary cap compliant when the new league year begins at 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday, March 12. On Friday morning, the Panthers got compliant by announcing the release of veteran cornerback Chris Gamble.
"I appreciate the contributions of Chris during my first two years as head coach and to the organization for many years," head coach Ron Rivera said in a statement released by the Panthers. "He always handled things the right way and we wish him the best."
The Panthers selected Gamble out of Ohio State with a first-round pick (No. 28 overall) in the 2004 NFL Draft. An instant starter, Gamble picked off six passes as a rookie before adding seven interceptions the following season. In nine seasons with the Panthers, Gamble had 27 interceptions, including two he returned for touchdowns, and 80 passes defensed.
Gamble missed most of the 2012 season after suffering a shoulder injury that landed him on the team's injured reserve list. The 6-foot-1, 205-pound cornerback turns 30 on Monday and was scheduled to earn $7.9 million in non-guaranteed base salary in 2013 with a cap number of $10.9 million. By releasing Gamble, the Panthers save $7.9 million in both cash and cap space and are now around $4 million under the cap. More moves from the Panthers are expected to take place before Tuesday.