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Panthers release Jonathan Stewart

The 49ers may look to move on from Carlos Hyde, but would Stewart be someone to look at?

Carolina Panthers v San Francisco 49ers Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers have released long-time running back Jonathan Stewart. The team made the announcement Wednesday.

There was talk of a potential paycut, but it sounds like it never came to fruition.

Stewart is approaching 31 years of age and hit a large decline in his career during 2017, averaging a career-low 3.4 yards per carry. Sharing the backfield with 1st round rookie Christian McCaffrey didn’t help his future stock as well.

Stewart has been a part of the Panthers since 2008, playing every single snap of his NFL career for the organization. He’s managed one Pro Bowl in his career, but still provided solid production sharing carries with, and coming in for an injured DeAngelo Williams.

The San Francisco 49ers could be looking to change things up with their running backs now that Carlos Hyde is approaching free agency. Given that Stewart has only hit 1,000 yards once in his career and has usually been sharing touches with other running backs, it doesn’t seem like a good replacement for Carlos Hyde as a feature back. He could provide solid depth, but that depth wouldn’t come cheap.

Do you see the 49ers making a play for Stewart?