Franchise leading rusher DeAngelo Williams was released last week from his long time home with the Carolina Panthers. Williams told WBTV, a Charlotte TV station, that he was cut following a meeting with coach Ron Rivera and general manager Dave Gettleman days ago.
Williams joined running back Jonathan Stewart in the Carolina backfield for many great seasons but upper management could not justify continuing to pay for both running backs, according to Williams. Williams had been with the Panthers since he was drafted in 2006 and was well known for his huge 2008 season, in which he topped 1,600 rushing yards and found the end-zone 16 times. Williams carried the ball for 6,846 yards and 46 rushing touchdowns during his tenure in Carolina. Injuries plagued him during many of his seasons but Williams remained productive throughout, until 2014, which ended his run with a career low 3.5 yards per carry.
Carolina is trying to free up cap space and will save around $2 million with this roster cut. With Stewart taking the majority of runs toward the end of the season, this outcome was almost inevitable. The Panthers will move on and try to improve a depleted offensive line.
Fantasy Insight: Williams was finally pushed aside in 2014 after years of clogging up Jonathan Stewart’s path to fantasy success, so his release shouldn’t shock anyone. Stewart is a star finally on the rise and Williams simply wasn’t good enough to continue to make major coin in Carolina. It’s the right move by the Panthers and in the same breath turns Stewart into a potential stud for the 2015 fantasy football season.