Travelle Wharton says he’s leaning toward retirement

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The Panthers have already seen offensive linemen Jordan Gross and Geoff Hangartner retire since the end of last season and a third member of the line says he’s closing in on the same decision.

Guard Travelle Wharton was at South Carolina’s pro day on Wednesday and took his eyes off Jadeveon Clowney long enough to say that he’s leaning toward never facing Clowney in an NFL game. Wharton told Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer that he’s leaning toward retirement, although no final decision has been made.

Wharton is currently ranked 101st on what is now PFT‘s Hot 100 and more list of the top free agents, but the 32-year-old hasn’t generated much buzz in free agency after a good season in Carolina. While that season hasn’t generated the offers Wharton might have liked at this point, an injury or deviation from draft plans could lead a team to come knocking on Wharton’s door before he totally closes it.

Wharton missed all of 2012 with a torn ACL, but returned to the Panthers last season to make 12 starts for the NFC South champions.