Panthers release G Geoff Hangartner

Jeremy Brevard-US PRESSWIRE

In an unexpected move, Carolina has parted ways with its starting right guard.

Geoff Hangartner was expected to start at right guard for the Carolina Panthers this season, but it turns out he'll be looking for a job elsewhere after the team announced Thursday morning that he was being cut.

Hangartner started 28 games for the Panthers over the past two seasons, including last year. He started four games at right guard in 2012, then eight more at center after he was moved over to fill in for an injured Ryan Kalil. He was expected to move back to the guard position this season.

Read more about Hangartner's release at Cat Scratch Reader

The Panthers picked up offensive lineman Edmund Kugbila with a fourth-round pick in this year's draft, but Hangartner seemed safely in front on the depth chart as the rookie battled injuries throughout the offseason.

Carolina hosted free agent guard Travelle Wharton last week, and Hangartner's release could be a move to make room for Wharton's possible signing. Wharton spent eight seasons with the Panthers before joining the Cincinnati Bengals in 2012. He was cut by the Bengals earlier this offseason after lingering issues from a torn ACL prevented him from taking part in spring drills.

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