The Panthers have announced they've released offensive lineman Geoff Hangartner, leaving the starting right guard spot up for grabs.

Hangartner has started 83 games, including 12 last season for Carolina, during his eight-year career with the Panthers and Buffalo Bills.

The move Thursday is a bit surprising considering Hangartner had been running with the first team at camp and the player they drafted to replace him — Edmund Kugbila from Valdosta State — has missed the majority of training camp with a pulled hamstring after sitting out OTAs with a knee injury.

Panthers quarterback Derek Anderson called Hangartner one of the most popular players in the locker room, saying "It's tough, but somebody is going to have to step up."

Hangartner was due to make $1.575 million this year.