The “Edwards Boys” – the Panthers’ so-called defensive tackle tandem – might be breaking up.

But at least on half of the productive duo could be coming back to Charlotte.

Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Ron Rivera indicated last week at the combine they hoped to re-sign defensive tackle Dwan Edwards.

The feeling apparently is mutual.

Edwards, who had a breakout season with the Panthers in 2012 after Buffalo cut him, is one of the top priorities among Carolina’s own free agents. He said Thursday he hopes to return.

“I definitely would come back there. A great bunch of guys,” Edwards said in a phone interview. “It was fun. Coming in and not knowing the team, I wasn’t really sure how it was going to be and what my expectations were. I hadn’t heard great things about the defensive line.

“But throughout the season I could see us getting better and improving. And I really felt we won some games for us.”

Edwards teamed with nose tackle Ron Edwards on the inside, while defensive ends Charles Johnson (12.5 sacks) and Greg Hardy (11 sacks) were disruptive on the edge.

Ron Edwards is expected to be a salary cap casualty for a team that needs to trim about $9 million by March 12 to get under the reported $123 million cap.

The Panthers locked down Johnson two years ago with the richest contract in franchise history, and are expected to make a long-term offer to Hardy, who is entering the last year of his deal after a monster 2012 season.

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