Dwan Edwards wants to return to Panthers after “fun” 2012

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The Panthers only have three starters among their list of free agents, and it appears getting one of them back is a priority for both sides.

Defensive tackle Dwan Edwards (whom general manager Dave Gettleman identified as a priority during an interview last week) said he hoped to return to Charlotte next year.

“It was fun,” Edwards told Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “It was kind of a situation for me coming in and not knowing the team. I wasn’t really sure how it was going to be and what my expectations were. I hadn’t heard great things about the defensive line.

“But throughout the season I could see us getting better and improving. And I really felt we won some games for us.”

Edwards had a hand in that, recording six sacks (only Ndamukong Suh with eight had more among NFC defensive tackles). Not bad for a guy signed to a one-year, $1.5 million deal after being released by the Bills. It was a much better fit for him, as he was lost in the shuffle in the Bills defensive shift, and allowed to rush the passer in Charlotte.

But the fun part’s over now, and it’s time for business. The Panthers still have work to do before they’re under the salary cap, meaning there’s more subtracting before they can add Edwards or anyone else.