The Carolina Panthers pass from another longtime veteran.
Panthers cut Graham Gano kick, NFL network insider Ian Rapoport reported Thursday.
Gano’s wife first indicated that the team was moving on in a heartfelt farewell post on Instagram.
After three years in Washington to open his career, Gano has spent the past eight years in Carolina, which included four playoff appearances and a Super Bowl run.
Gano missed the whole of 2019 due to a knee injury. Meanwhile, the Panthers continued with Joey Slye. Now they will make the change permanent.
Healthy 33-year-old Gano is a reliable kicker with a good leg. In 12 games in 2018, he scored 14 of 16 field goals, including one from 63 yards, and hit 30 of 33 PAT.
It’s unclear if he’s in full health at this point in his career, but given the constant need for capable seasoned kickers, Gano should find a job at some point this season. At the very least, he should be on nearly every team’s check-in list if his kicker is diagnosed with COVID-19 during the season.
The move saves the Panthers $ 2.8 million on the salary cap, but leaves an additional $ 1.5 million in dead money over the next two years. This is in addition to the League’s already high dead money figure in 2020, which stood at over $ 41 million before Gano’s release. The high number underscores the renewal the Panthers went through when the roster was overhauled under Matt Rhule.