Former Ohio State safety Kurt Coleman will be looking for a new NFL team this offseason.
The Carolina Panthers released Coleman on Monday, ending his tenure with the team after three seasons.
Coleman's release was first reported by NFL Media's Ian Rapoport.
The #Panthers are releasing S Kurt Coleman, Im told. The veteran leader had a $5.25M cap hit. His release clears space as they go younger.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 26, 2018
In three seasons with the Panthers, Coleman started 42 games and recorded 261 total tackles, 11 interceptions (two returned for touchdowns) and 19 passes defensed.
For his eight-year NFL career as a whole, Coleman has recorded 519 total tackles, 21 interceptions and 36 passes defensed. Coleman began his career with the Philadelphia Eagles from 2010-13, then had a one-year stint with the Kansas City Chiefs before three years with the Panthers.
Coleman had two years remaining on his contract with the Panthers before his release. In the Panthers' announcement of Coleman's release, the team stated that making this move "gives the Panthers significant salary cap relief," suggesting that the move to cut Coleman – who was both a key player for their defense and regarded as one of their top leaders in their locker room – was driven by financial savings rather than a reflection on his performance.
Coleman, who turns 30 in April, should become one of the top options on the free-agent market for contending teams looking to add a veteran starter at the safety position.