Panthers Cut Ties With DeAngelo Williams
The Carolina Panthers have boasted one of the better offensive back-fields for years. In 2015 they’ll be preparing with a different look when it comes to their running backs. Per reports, the end has finally come for veteran running back DeAngelo Williams, who the team reportedly released on Monday.
There had been talks for the past two years that Williams could be on the chopping block, and those rumors finally came to fruition. Part of the reason for Williams’ departure was his age (32 in April) and natural regression, but a breakout season from fellow running mate Jonathan Stewart last year could have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
With Stewart set to take over full-time in 2015, there just wasn’t any room for the aging and increasingly ineffective D-Will. Williams had dropped in efficiency for the fourth year in a row in 2014, gradually coming down from an excellent 2011 campaign (5.4 yards per carry) and finishing out his final season in Carolina with a paltry 3.5 yards a pop.
While Williams trended downward, Stewart manned up and took over for a struggling Panthers offense. Stewart put the offense on his back down the stretch in 2014, putting up two massive 100+ yard efforts and putting forth a solid outing in Carolina’s wild card playoff win.
All of that set Stewart up for the starting job next season, which likely has Williams welcoming his release so he can consider alternative options for his playing career. Despite his regression, Williams still has some speed and agility to lean on and could help a contending team out in a pinch. Worst case, Williams could latch on somewhere as a backup; a role he should still be able to serve competently for another year or two. Of course, that’s assuming he wouldn’t just prefer to retire as a member of the Panthers – the only NFL team he’s ever known.
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