Panthers will not play tag with DeAngelo Williams

Everyone knows the biggest story this offseason for the Carolina Panthers is their search for a quarterback.

But whatever direction the team goes, new coach Ron Rivera wants to get back to successfully running the ball like the Panthers did in 2009 when DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart both rushed for 1,000 yards.

Re-signing the 28-year-old Williams will be imperative to make that happen. The Panthers have decided not to use their franchise tag on the team’s all-time leading rusher. Adam Schefter of ESPN reported that today, and it doesn’t come as a surprise when considering Williams was slowed by injuries last season and the team has Stewart and Mike Goodson in place.

Still, Williams is clearly the best rusher, and Carolina can’t continue to let its top players exit.

“We can be exciting again because two seasons ago they had two guys rush for 1,000 yards each,” Rivera said. “We need to get that re-energized and re-focused.”

And to do so, they’ll need to focus on finding a way to sign Williams. The team is expected to use the franchise tag on defensive end Charles Johnson or center Ryan Kalil. The guess here is they choose Johnson, who led the defense with 11

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