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Panthers release All-Pro wideout Muhammad

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Feb. 25, 2005) -- Muhsin Muhammad was released by Carolina after the Panthers were unable to come to terms with the All-Pro receiver.

The Panthers had been trying to re-negotiate Muhammad's contract because his current deal would have counted more than $12 million against the salary cap in the coming season.

But talks between the Panthers and Muhammad's agent broke down earlier this week and Carolina was forced to release him before he was due a $10 million roster bonus on March 1.

"The efforts to get a contract extension on Muhsin were unsuccessful and we have decided to release him," general manager Marty Hurney said. "Muhsin has been a valuable member of our team and we appreciate everything he has done for the Panthers."

Muhammad holds all of Carolina's receiving records with 578 catches for 7,751 yards receiving.

He shares the team record for touchdowns with Wesley Walls at 44.

Drafted in the second round out of Michigan State in 1996, he played in 115 games for Carolina and was selected to two Pro Bowls.

Muhammad was an All-Pro last season, stepping up after receiver Steve Smith broke his leg in the season opener.

Muhammad was Carolina's only offensive weapon after running backs Stephen Davis and DeShaun Foster also were lost to injury.

For the season, he had 93 catches and led NFL receivers with 1,405 yards and 16 touchdowns.

That marked a career year for Muhammad, after he had been eclipsed by Smith as quarterback Jake Delhomme's go-to receiver during the Panthers' run to the Super Bowl in 2003. That year, his regular-season production declined as he was used primarily as a blocker for the speedy playmaker Smith.

Muhammad's agent Joel Segal said, "We tried very diligently to get something done," and indicated Muhammad will now test the free-agent market.

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2005, The Associated Press, All Rights Reserved

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