The Carolina Panthers announced on Thursday that they've released veteran tackle Michael Oher with a failed physical designation. According to a report from the Charlotte Observer, he qualifies for injury compensation.
Oher suffered a concussion early last season and has been in the concussion protocol since October. He played in only three games during the 2016 season before being placed on injured reserve.
Oher was part of the Panthers' surprisingly-effective offensive line during the 2015 season, and was rewarded for his strong play with a three-year, $21.6 million extension last offseason. The contract contained a potential out after the 2017 season where the Panthers could release him with only $2 million in dead money on the salary cap. Releasing him a year earlier than that leaves $3 million in dead salary on their books.
Oher was originally selected with the No. 23 pick in the 2009 draft by the Baltimore Ravens, with whom he spent the first five seasons of his career as their starting left tackle. After leaving Baltimore, he spent a season with the Tennessee Titans before eventually landing with the Panthers.
The tackle originally rose to prominence when his life story was dramatized in the 2006 book "The Blind Side: Evolution of a Game" (by Michael Lewis) and the 2009 movie "The Blind Side," starring Sandra Bullock, Tim McGraw (as Oher's adoptive parents, Leigh Anne and Sean Tuohy), and Quinton Allen (as Oher).
While Oher did not necessarily live up to the hype as an all-world tackle prospect, he did carve out a very successful career for himself over the years. His ongoing health issues will likely determine his next step.