It was thought Johnson would help groom Dwayne Jarrett of Southern California, taken in the second round with the 45th pick. But apparently Johnson was deemed expendable - he and Jarrett are both 6-foot-4 possession receivers.
The Panthers also selected receiver Ryne Robinson from Miami of Ohio in the fourth round. While he'll likely be primarily used as a punt returner, he did catch 91 passes at Miami of Ohio last season. The Panthers also have receivers Steve Smith, Drew Carter and Keary Colbert on the roster.
Johnson, who'll turn 35 in July, had 70 catches for 815 yards and four touchdowns last season, his only with Carolina.
FALCONS: Signed 13 undrafted college free agents, including two Georgia players, linebacker Tony Taylor and punter Gordon Ely-Kelso.
Also among the signings announced Tuesday was running back Justin Vincent of Louisiana State.
The Falcons also signed two offensive linemen who played for new coach Bobby Petrino at Louisville, Kurt Quarterman and Renardo Foster.
CHIEFS: Defensive tackle Ryan Sims, the sixth overall pick in the 2002 draft, was traded to Tampa Bay for an undisclosed draft choice.
Sims was a huge disappointment with the Chiefs, often overweight and often injured.
- The Chiefs also released defensive end Eric Hicks, three days after taking defensive lineman Claude "Turk" McBride in the second round of the NFL Draft.
TEXANS: Boise State quarterback Jared Zabransky, who led his team to a 43-42 overtime win against Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl, will sign as a free agent with Houston.
COURTS: The National Football League Players Association is countersuing six current and former players who are seeking to hold the union and league liable for millions of dollars they lost in an alleged fraud scheme.
The NFLPA, in papers filed last week in federal court in Atlanta, accuses Steve Atwater, Ray Crockett, Al Smith, Blaine Bishop, Carlos Emmons and Clyde Simmons of breach of contract.