The nickname "Double Trouble" will never be used again, an entire era of Panthers football is coming to a close. DeAngelo Williams has been released, according to a report from WBTV in Charlotte.
Williams was a likely cap casualty due to his high salary and on-again-off-again injury situation, but it's sad nonetheless. Less than a year after Steve Smith was released we're seeing the second long-term staple of the Panthers offense fall by the wayside. The move almost assures Carolina will look for a complementary running back in the draft, and the running game will be left in good hands with a healthy and resurgent Jonathan Stewart being able to take on the role of full-time feature back.
The Panthers drafted Williams in 2006 with the 27th overall pick. It was a move to insulate the team in case DeShaun Foster wasn't able to progress with the lion's share of carries. Ultimately it became one of the best picks in team history. Williams may have only amasses two 1,000 yard seasons with the organization, but it's important to understand that he always shared the spotlight with someone. Whether it was Foster or eventually Stewart, he did what the team needed him to. Always with a smile on his face, never griping in an era where so many players are more concerned about putting up their numbers than willingly take a back seat for the team.
For all the amazing work DeAngelo did on the field, he was an even better person during his time with the Panthers. He was at the forefront of pushing the league to represent and give money to breast cancer research, and always had time for fans at training camp. When Stewart arrived he gained not only a teammate, but from the outside looking in, a best friend. The pair known as "Double Trouble" went everywhere together, snapping photos, singing and keeping each other laughing. It's hard to imagine the Panthers offense without Williams in it, even if he took a step back.
He leaves the Panthers as the team's all-time leading rusher, holds the franchise record for most rushing yards in a game and led the league in rushing touchdowns in 2008. It's unclear whether Williams will find a home with another team, but we wish him every success in whatever he does -- because he's a guy who deserves that kind of respect.
D-Will posted this video on his Twitter page:
9 years is a long time. it's been a great run.... https://t.co/66IF6TL7H9— DeAngelo Williams (@DeAngeloRB) February 23, 2015