Rumor, apparently picked up by Steve Reed of the Gaston Gazette, had Dan Morgan restructuring and staying, but no decision has been made. The team still needs to take action on a series of bonuses totaling $2.5 million.
The team has stated they want to keep DE Mike Rucker, says the Charlotte Observer:
"We're hoping Mike Rucker can come back full-strength next season," Hurney said, "and he's definitely in our plans. Mike Rucker typifies what we want in both a player and a person."
For that to happen, Rucker will most certainly have to structure his roster bonus into an extension, a risky move for the former Pro Bowl end at age 32 and still rehabilitating a surgically repaired knee. Rucker had been largely unscathed and productive throughout his career since he first earned a starting spot in 2001, so there's reason to be hopeful.
With Rucker staying, Al Wallace was released, in a move many didn't expect; Wallace is a key reserve who re-signed with the team in 2004 when media experts reported he could cash in as a starter elsewhere. However, Wallace rarely played ahead of Rucker, and as a spot starter in 2005 and late 2006, Wallace had issues playing the run and holding contain. While Wallace's salary wasn't terribly prohibitive, it did save the Panthers in excess of $1 million, and likely signifies that the team will be on the look out for a more well-rounded backup to Rucker and Peppers.