Panthers move on without Jeff Otah

August, 2, 2012
8/02/12
3:06
PM ET
Here’s a move that shouldn’t surprise anyone. The Carolina Panthers just announced the official release of offensive tackle Jeff Otah.

Otah
That’s been expected ever since Otah’s trade to the New York Jets was voided because he couldn’t pass a physical. Otah’s rights returned briefly to the Panthers, but it was obvious he had no future with the team.

A first-round draft pick in 2008, Otah had two good years before knee injuries started to become chronic. Otah appeared in only four games over the past two seasons.

In his absence last season, the Panthers discovered they had a capable replacement in Byron Bell and he’s expected to be the starter this season with Bruce Campbell and Garry Williams as his backups.

The Panthers will have to absorb a $218,750 salary-cap hit for Otah, but they still free up about $800,000 with the release. The Panthers now have about $9 million in cap space.

The Panthers filled Otah’s roster spot by signing cornerback Nate Ness. Ness previously has spent time with the Dolphins, Seahawks, Giants and Rams.

Pat Yasinskas | email

ESPN Tampa Bay Buccaneers reporter

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