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Panthers release center/guard Pat Elflein

Expect the Elf to land on somebody else’s shelf next season

New Orleans Saints v Carolina Panthers Photo by Eakin Howard/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers have released center/guard Pat Elflein in a move that will free up $4.3M in salary cap space. Elflein joined the Panthers as their starting center in 2021 and held that role until a hip injury ended his season in Week 6 of last year. Bradley Bozeman ran away with the job and signed a new contract with the Panthers just yesterday.

Elflein was due to count $7M against the cap this season. The new contract Bozeman signed yesterday carries an average annual salary of $6M, meaning that Elflein would have been making a starting player salary as a depth center/guard option. The Panthers can get that kind of depth in free agency for less than $4.3M and still have some money left over for higher priority positions.

This was the last season on Elflein’s original contract with the Panthers. The team will carry $2.8M in dead money against the cap this year and then have no salary cap obligations related to this transaction thereafter.