The Jeff Otah era is over in Carolina.
Panthers general manager Marty Hurney announced the team had terminated the contract of the offensive tackle, a former first-round draft pick, after he failed a physical.
“Anytime you let go of a player as talented as Jeff is, it’s a hard decision,” Hurney said Thursday. “In talking to him and going through the last couple of days, he just doesn’t feel like he’s gotten over the injuries of the past two seasons. And he doesn’t know when he’ll be ready. So we just thought it was a decision that was best for both sides to move forward.”
Otah’s agent, Jonathan Feinsod, said his client is “one thousand percent” committed to playing again this season and has no plans to retire.
The Panthers selected the 6-foot-6, 340-pound Otah with the 19th pick in the 2008 NFL draft and he played well his first two seasons with the team. However, Otah developed knee problems beginning in 2009 and had surgery on his meniscus. He’s missed 31 of the last 35 games due to injury, finishing the last three seasons on injured reserve.
BROWNS: A person with knowledge of the sale told The Associated Press on Thursday that team owner Randy Lerner reached a deal to sell the team to Tennessee truck-stop magnate Jimmy Haslam III – a minority stockholder in the rival Pittsburgh Steelers.
Lerner will sell 70 percent of the Browns to Haslam now, with the other 30 percent reverting to him four years after the closing date, the person said on condition of anonymity because the sale has not officially been announced.
While the papers have been signed, the NFL still must approve the sale.
LIONS: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell respects the due process that players in the league are entitled to if they’re arrested.
Goodell just knows he doesn’t have to wait for court cases to play out to determine how to discipline those he thinks have tarnished the league’s image.
“We don’t by policy, particularly if there’s a pattern of behavior,” Goodell said Thursday during a visit to Lions training camp. “If there is not a pattern, we certainly do acknowledge the legal process and want to be respectful of that.”
The NFL has already suspended Detroit running back Mikel Leshoure for two games for off-field conduct.
Defensive tackle Nick Fairley likely will have to sit at some point this season, too.
Fairley has two scheduled days in court, including one in late November, after getting arrested in Alabama twice in two months.
TEXANS: Defensive end J.J. Watt has dislocated his left elbow and will miss some practice time, but the team doesn’t believe his injury is serious.