The first domino has fallen for the cap-challenged Panthers.

In a move that has been long anticipated, the Panthers released veteran defensive tackle Ron Edwards on Friday, creating $2.5 million in cap space.

The release of Edwards, coupled with tight end Greg Olsen's contract restructuring, leaves the Panthers about $3.5 million over the reported $123 million cap.

Edwards signed a a three-year, $8.2 million contract with the Panthers in 2011. He missed the entire 2011 season after tearing his triceps during his first training camp practice.

He started 11 games last season before a dislocated elbow sent him to injured reserve again. Edwards finished with 16 tackles and a sack in two seasons in Charlotte.