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Panthers release DT Kemoeatu, LB Diggs

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By PFW staff

The Panthers have parted with both of their starting defensive tackles from the 2008 season.

After cutting Damione Lewis Thursday, Carolina released DT Maake Kemoeatu early Friday. Kemoeatu missed all of last season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn Achilles' tendon. He encountered some setbacks in his recovery and the Panthers opted to move on without him rather than pay the $9.3 million option bonus he was due this month, according to reports.

Carolina might consider re-signing him at a much lower price later this offseason if he is prepared to participate in training camp.

The Panthers also announced LBs Na'il Diggs and Landon Johnson have been released. Diggs, a nine-year veteran, spent the last four seasons in Carolina and started 46 regular-season games in that span. Dan Connor will likely get a chance to replace him as the team's starting strong-side linebacker.

Johnson, 28, spent the last two seasons with the Panthers. He started three games and made 20 tackles in 2009 before a knee injury led to him being placed on injured reserve.


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