Four words, Julius Peppers and Jordan Gross, but I get ahead of myself.
In thinking about why the Panthers released Stanley McClover and other veterian players, who many think played better than those that took their place, I believe a very important aspect has been overlooked. Hurney can talk about player upside in their younger players and how Jaxon pointed out that some of the vets have probably given their best seasons and both are probably right, however, I believe there is an additional reason, the salary cap.
I realize the future of the cap is unknown, but a good football team likes to keep an eye out for the future and just living for the present can hurt long term, just looked at the Seifert years. Yes many people will say that Coach Fox is on the hot seat this year but he is a good coach and knows that even if he's not here, he wants this team to succeed and will coach as if he's going to be here for several more years. Granted drafting Jeff Otah was a this year move, but acceptable as Jeff should be around for many years as well.
This means a team has to stay young if you are considering long term success and holding onto players past their prime is a great way to quickly fade. With that in mind, since we don't know what's going to happen cap wise in the next few years, managing as if there will be some type of cap is the most prudent solution.
Carolina for several years has had very little cap room to work with (last figures I could find from early in 2008 had us over the cap), with two big contracts to work through next year for both Peppers and Gross, we need all the dollars we can get. So any player with upside is extremely important when they can save the team some very important salary space next year.
Think this is a plausible explaination or just blowing smoke, leave a comment and let me know.