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#ProDucks: Panthers release Jonathan Stewart, a 1st round pick from Oregon in 2008

Carolina Panthers' Jonathan Stewart (28) scores a touchdown against the Denver Broncos during the first half of the NFL Super Bowl 50 football game Sunday, Feb. 7, 2016, in Santa Clara, Calif. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Carolina Panthers have released running back Jonathan Stewart, a first round draft pick from the University of Oregon in 2008.

Stewart became the franchise's career rushing leader in 2017, finishing with 7,318 rushing yards. Stewart's 1,699 rushing attempts are also the most in franchise history, while his 58 touchdowns (51 rushing, seven receiving) are second in franchise history.

"Jonathan played the game the way you want. He brought an element of toughness as a runner that set the tempo for our team," coach Ron Rivera said in a statement. "He is a great pro, and I appreciate who he is as a young man and thank him for the contribution he made."

Stewart helped Carolina to five playoff appearances, and holds franchise records for career rushing yards (474), rushing attempts (101) and rushing touchdowns (five) in the playoffs. His three rushing touchdowns in the 2015 postseason are the franchise high.

Stewart played all 10 seasons with the Panthers after being drafted by Carolina.

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Copyright 2018 The Associated Press

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