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Chris Gamble expected to be released by Panthers

The Charlotte Observer's Joe Person reported earlier in the month that the Carolina Panthers' top cornerback Chris Gamble would likely be released as new general manager Dave Gettleman's first major move.

It doesn't look like Gamble will be returning at a reduced rate, either. "All indications I've received are that he's gone," Person told WFNZ-AM in Charlotte. "That they've kind of cut bait. ... I've not heard any talk about anything other than a straight cut."

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The Panthers must chop roughly $10 million against the salary cap by the start of the league year on March 12. Gamble's contract carries a $10.9 million cap figure, and Gettleman can free up $7.9 million by setting him free. Other potential moves include releasing defensive tackle Ron Edwards and restructuring the contracts of linebacker Jon Beason, running back DeAngelo Williams and left tackle Jordan Gross.

Gamble was one of the NFL's underrated stars as recently as 2011, but he's missed 18 games over the past three seasons. The Panthers can't count on Gamble, who turns 30 in March, to stay on the field.

Another team will benefit from Gamble's coverage skills in 2013 at a greatly reduced salary.

Follow Chris Wesseling on Twitter @ChrisWesseling.

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