By Nick Shook | NFL.com
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For the second straight February, Thomas DeCoud is out of a job.
The Carolina Panthers released the veteran safety on Tuesday less than a year after signing him to a two-year deal, the team announced.
Signed in April after being cut by the division rival Atlanta Falcons, DeCoud was inserted into the starting lineup at the onset of the 2014 season. He started 11 of the first 12 games before being benched in favor of rookie Tre Boston, who helped improve Carolina’s secondary down the stretch as the Panthers secured the NFC South crown despite a 7-8-1 overall record.
DeCoud spent his first six seasons in the NFL with the Falcons, who signed him to a five-year extension prior to his 2012 Pro Bowlseason. Atlanta’s decision to release DeCoud was partially motivated by the financial savings it offered, clearing $3 million off their 2014 cap.
Carolina’s move was based much more on his on-field ability, which has continued to decline. With a budding talent in Boston, it wasn’t a difficult — or surprising — decision.
The free agent market for safeties is flooded with at the very least serviceable veterans, making it an uphill climb for DeCoud — who turns 30 on March 19 — to find another job.
The move will save Carolina $1.9 million in cap space. The Panthers complemented the roster move by signing guard Chris Scott to a one-year deal, keeping him from entering restricted free agency on March 10.