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Panthers' Wharton retires

<p>Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Travelle Wharton announced his retirement Tuesday.</p>

Spartanburg, SC (SportsNetwork.com) - Carolina Panthers offensive lineman Travelle Wharton announced his retirement Tuesday.

Wharton ranks seventh in games started and 12th in games played in franchise history. His 115 games played and 111 starts ranks second among Panthers offensive linemen.

"I had the pleasure of coaching Travelle for two seasons and he was a pro in every sense of the word," says Carolina head coach Ron Rivera. "His preparation was never lacking in any respect and he gave you complete effort on the field. Most of all, you always knew you could count on Travelle."

Wharton, who came to the team as a third-round draft choice from South Carolina in 2004, played both guard and tackle for the Panthers, but spent the majority of his career at guard.

He was a starter for the Panthers for eight seasons before signing with the Cincinnati Bengals prior to the 2012 season. The 33-year-old blew out his knee in the preseason and did not appear in a regular season game for the Bengals that year.

Wharton returned to the Panthers last season and started 12 games.

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