Panthers to cut center Bradley Bozeman, sources tell ESPN

CHARLOTTE — The Carolina Panthers are expected to release center Bradley Bozeman, sources told ESPN’s David Newton on Sunday.

The team is planning to make the move on Wednesday, which is when the new NFL year begins.

Sources told ESPN the reason for the move is not for the team salary cap, but is performance-based. Bozeman’s failure at pass protection led to quarterback Bryce Young being sacked 62 times last season, ESPN reported.

At the NFL combine, the Panthers’ new leadership laid out their priorities for their pursuit of a winning season. General manager Dan Morgan said addressing the offensive line is “high on the list” this year.

“I think it’s pretty evident that our offensive line struggled at times last year,” Morgan said. “We’ve got to get better in that area and we’re going to do everything in our power to make that happen.”

Coach Dave Canales spoke about Bryce Young and how they’re focusing on him this season.

“You’re looking at an accurate player. A really smart player,” Canales said. “He’s aware of what’s happening, and we’ve got to build the whole thing around him -- something where we can say this is our identity.”

Bozeman’s release is the latest in a series of roster moves the Panthers’ new leadership has made recently. Last week, the Panthers put a franchise tag on outside linebacker Brian Burns.

The Athletic’s Joe Person reported earlier that the Panthers are planning to release tight end Hayden Hurst, according to sources.

And sources told ESPN that cornerback Donte Jackson will either be traded or released to free up more cap space.

Bozeman was nominated for the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Award for his impact on the Charlotte community and his family’s philanthropy. In 2018, Bozeman and his wife, Nikki, launched their foundation, The Bradley and Nikki Bozeman Foundation. They continued their work in Charlotte within months of moving to the city.

Through the foundation, the Bozemans have been teaming up with Second Harvest Food Bank and Charlotte-Mecklenburg police, among other community partners. On-duty officers deliver food packed into custom boxes, covered with links and additional resources for children and families who need it most.

The Bozemans have helped serve thousands, often through the SYNC Snack Program. SYNC stands for Serving Your Neighbors and Communities. In the last year alone, the program has packed more than 17,000 boxes of food.

(WATCH BELOW: Panthers coach sits down with Ch. 9 to discuss plans for turning team around)