Free Agency

Inside the Panthers – Free agent OL Jason Brown meeting with Panthers – Charlotte Observer

Inside the Panthers.

Who knew offenisve guard would be such a hot position for the Carolina Panthers during the first 24 hours of free agency?

In one fell swoop Tuesday, the Panthers cut veteran guard Travelle Wharton and re-signed veteran guard Geoff Hangartner. Now, the Panthers will host free agent guard Jason Brown for a visit Wednesday, according to a league source with knowledge of the situation.

Brown, 28, was cut by St. Louis this week — just three years after the Rams made him the league’s highest-paid center (a title now held by the Panthers’ Ryan Kalil) with a five-year, $35.2 million contract in 2009.

Brown lost his starting spot at center midway through last season and moved to guard. By cutting Brown, the Rams saved a reported $2.8 million in cap space.

The Panthers cleared $3.8 million in cap space by releasing Wharton, 30, whose 99 career starts are the second-most by a Carolina offensive lineman behind Jordan Gross.

Brown, who is only two years younger than Wharton, has a background with Panthers offensive line coach John Matsko, his position coach for a year in Baltimore. Brown, who grew up in Henderson, N.C., was a fourth-round pick of the Ravens in 2005 after playing at UNC.

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