This decision is a slightly strange one, given that Hogan was not counting against the 53 man roster, nor was he eating into the Panthers cap space-- so file this one firmly as 'more behind the scenes we don't know'.
Selected in the forth round of the 2011 draft, Hogan was once thought to be the Panthers future at cornerback. A talented but troubled prospect, he had an air of poor-man's Janoris Jenkins, the infinitely talented CB taken by the St. Louis Rams, despite a host of off field issues.
Brandon Hogan was never able to become healthy over his two years in Carolina. Taken with a leap of faith that an ACL injury would repair post-draft, he appeared in just three games in 2011, registering two tackles. Many scouts saw him as a second round talent, so again-- this is a very curious decision.
Given Hogan was on IR this plays no role in deciding if there will be a replacement, but it appears Ron Rivera and Brandon Beane are laying the groundwork for 2013, even with the possibility neither will be with the organization next year.