The Carolina Panthers have released DeAngelo Williams, according to Molly Grantham of WBTV in Charlotte. D’Angelo Williams has been released by the #Panthers , per @MollyGrantham . End of an era. — Rand Getlin (@Rand_Getlin) February 23, 2015 When Williams later retweeted Grantham’s report, that would appear to be a confirmation of the news. It would mark the end of an era during which Williams became the franchise’s all-time leading rusher with a career that started with the team as a first-round pick in 2006. Williams has rushed 1,432 times for 6,846 yards and 46 touchdowns — all franchise bests — and he’s also the Panthers’ fifth-leading receivers all time with 178 receptions, for 1,621 yards and seven more scores. Williams’ career, sadly, also has been known for injuries. He was limited to six games last season and only has played all 16 games four times in his nine-year career, all of which has been in Carolina. Williiams turns 32 in April and was set to hit against the salary cap for more than $6 million, so it’s no surprise he was released. This is the second straight year the Panthers have released a former franchise cornerstone, after Steve Smith was cut a little over a year ago. When asked about Williams’ status at the NFL scouting combine last week, Panthers GM Dave Gettleman — like he was with Smith in 2014 — was non-committal. “I spoke to DeAngelo. We had a great conversation. It’s private, it’s confidential. It’s between us,” Gettleman said. “DeAngelo had a tough season. He lost his mom, who he was very close to. He dedicated the season to her, and he just couldn’t stay healthy. And it was really hard for him. Then he

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