According to Adam Schefter via Twitter, the Carolina Panthers will not use the franchise tag on running back DeAngelo Williams.
Instead, the team will decide between either center Ryan Kalil or defensive end Charles Johnson.
Given the fact that new head coach Ron Rivera is a former defensive coordinator, odds are the tag will be applied to Johnson, even though Kalil is much more worthy.
Not tagging Williams probably means the Panthers are willing to move forward with Jonathan Stewart as their primary runner and will worry about finding a backup for him in the draft or free agency as their current roster likely doesn’t have enough talent behind Stewart.
The only way Williams returns is if he’s willing to accept backup money and limited carries behind Stewart, and there’s no way he even considers doing that. Behind even just an average offensive line, Williams can still be a top five or top 10 running back.