The Carolina Panthers declined defensive tackle Dontari Poe's option for the 2020 season on Saturday, according to a report from The Athletic. The decision makes him a free agent.
Poe had a $2.5 million roster bonus set to guarantee on Sunday, as part of a $9.8 million salary for 2020. Instead, the Panthers will save all $9.8 million, trimming Poe's 2020 cap hit from $13.1 million to $3.3 million in dead money.
Poe will be an unrestricted free agent when the new league year begins, which is currently scheduled for Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.
The 29-year-old joined the Panthers on a three-year, $28 million contract in March of 2018. He started all 16 games in 2018, collecting one sack and three QB hits, before posting four sacks and six QB hits over 11 games this past season. He missed the final five games in 2019 with a torn quad.
A former first-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2012, Poe had 10.5 sacks and 15 QB hits across two Pro Bowl seasons from 2013-14, but he has totaled just 10 sacks and 31 hits in the five ensuing seasons.
The eight-year veteran has 278 tackles (31 for loss) 20.5 sacks and 49 QB hits across 121 career games (118 starts) with the Chiefs (2012-16), Atlanta Falcons (2017) and Panthers (2018-19).
--Field Level Media