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Ron Edwards released by Carolina Panthers

The Carolina Panthers announced the release of defensive tackle Ron Edwards on Friday.

"We appreciate the contributions that Ron has made to the Panthers the past two seasons," coach Ron Rivera said in a released statement. "He set a great example on and off the field for our young players and we wish him well moving forward."

Edwards missed all of the 2011 season with a triceps injury and had 14 tackles and a sack in 11 starts in 2012. An elbow injury ended his season after those 11 games.

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The cap-strapped Panthers' recent moves suggested Edwards would not be a part of their future. Frank Kearse started after Edwards' injury last season and the team signed veteran Colin Cole, who hasn't played in two years, earlier this month. Free agent Dwan Edwards started 13 games in 2012 and the Panthers seem interested in bringing him back. This will also be a strong defensive tackle draft and the Panthers could target help there.

The team saves $2.5 million in cap space with the release of the 33-year-old with 12 years of NFL service and chronic injury issues.

Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.

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