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Jeff Otah's Carolina Panthers contract terminated

The Carolina Panthers have run out of patience with offensive tackle Jeff Otah.

The team terminated the contract of the oft-injured former first-round draft pick Thursday, three days after his trade to the New York Jetswas voided for health reasons.

Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said Otah's health was too much of question mark to keep him around.

"Any time you let go of a player as good as Jeff is, it's a hard decision," Hurney said, according to The Charlotte Observer. "After he came back and talking to him and going through the last few days, he doesn't feel like he's gotten over the injuries of the past two seasons and really doesn't know when he'll be ready. It was a decision that was probably best for both sides to move forward."

Otah has played in just four games over the past two seasons as he has dealt with chronic knee problems. He became an unpopular figure in Carolina, earning a reputation as a player who wasn't necessarily determined to return to the field.

Otah's agent, Jonathan Feinsod, said the offensive lineman will "definitely" play again, the newspaper reported.

Feinsod told The Associated Press that the lineman will attend LeCharles Bentley's Offensive Line Academy in Cleveland to strengthen this knee and improve his conditioning.

The ESPN NFC South blog reported the Panthers must absorb a $218,750 salary-cap hit for Otah, but the team still frees up about $800,000 in cap space with the release. Cornerback Nate Ness was signed to take Otah's place on the roster.

The Jets targeted Otah to fill a need at right tackle, but he was unable to pass the team's physical in the provided one-week window. Once Otah was stamped "return to sender," it was expected the Panthers would cut ties with the player they took No. 19 overall in the 2008 draft.

Now the expected is a reality.

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