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Panthers cut three, including running back Davis

The Panthers cleared $4.64 million of cap room Wednesday by releasing three veterans -- running back Stephen Davis, running back
Rod Smart and defensive tackle Brentson Buckner.

Entering the day, the Panthers were $12.6 million over the $92 million salary and they will try to rework some contracts or await the league word on what is going to be the revised cap number before figuring out the final $8 million of decisions.

Davis was expected to be released because of his age and his injuries. His release saved the team $2.8 million. Smart, a good backup running back and solid returner, was a little bit of a surprise. Buckner is one of the team leaders on defense but he's played 13 years and is 34 years old.

John Clayton is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com.