Geoff Hangartner has started all 28 games he’s played for the Panthers over the last two years, but it doesn’t look like he’ll be starting any more for them in 2013.
The Panthers announced Thursday that they have released the veteran offensive lineman. Hangartner started four games at right guard for the Panthers last year and then started eight more at center after Ryan Kalil was injured, but was slated for a return to right guard this season.
The idea was for Hangartner, who was set to make $1.575 million this year, to compete with fourth-round pick Edmund Kugbila and Garry Williams for that job. Hangartner was the favorite, especially with Kugbila has been sidelined by leg injuries throughout the offseason, but the Panthers obviously didn’t feel he was the right man for that or any other job.
The Panthers have also interest in adding Travelle Wharton to the mix at guard, although Wharton remains a free agent after being released by the Bengals. We’ll see if Hangartner’s departure is the first step in Wharton’s return to Carolina.
As for Hangartner, he used to play for Broncos coach John Fox and offensive line coach Dave Magazu when the two men were with the Panthers. The team has added Ryan Lilja in the wake of Dan Koppen’s torn ACL, but they may be looking for other options at center and familiarity with Hangartner could lead to his name popping up in Denver.