Panthers release defensive end Charles Johnson

AP

The Panthers are clearing out some cap room in advance of free agency.

In addition to today’s previously reported release of safety Kurt Coleman, the Panthers have also released veteran defensive end Charles Johnson, taking more than $3 million off their cap.

The 31-year-old defensive end battled back problems and a four-game PED suspension last year, but was a healthy scratch for the Panthers’ playoff loss to the Saints, which gave a pretty clear indication of their plans for him.

Johnson signed a two-year deal last offseason, but his production has fallen off. He had at least 8.5 sacks every year from 2010-14, and was s teady run defender. He didn’t record a sack last year, leaving him with 67.5 in his career, second in franchise history behind Julius Peppers.

The Panthers want to bring Peppers back, but they’re looking to get younger alongside Mario Addison.