Panthers trim three veterans

Posted by ESPN.com's Pat Yasinskas

The Carolina Panthers took another step toward getting their salary-cap situation in line for Friday's start of free agency.

By releasing running back Nick Goings, offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges and receiver D.J. Hackett, the Panthers freed up $4.74 million in cap space. They also restructured the deal of cornerback Chris Gamble to spread the $10 million roster bonus he's receiving this year across his entire contract.

Interestingly, the Panthers have not released cornerback Ken Lucas, who has been speculated as a probable cap casualty. That's a strong sign that the Panthers are hoping to trade Lucas for a draft pick. Stay tuned on this one.