Panthers nullify Bashaud Breeland's contract over failed physical

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers nullified their three-year, $24 million deal with free-agent cornerback Bashaud Breeland because of a failed physical thanks to a non-football injury, the team announced on Friday.

Breeland told ESPN he cut the heel of his left foot on March 4 while in the Dominican Republic, where a golf cart hit him in the back of his leg and reopened a wound first suffered in fourth grade.

Breeland said he didn't believe that this injury, which will require a skin graft, was serious enough to keep him from playing this season. He said that the initial injury, which also required a skin graft, never was an issue in high school, in college at Clemson or during his previous four seasons with the Washington Redskins.

The injury is now infected and will take a while to get it right, a source tells ESPN's Adam Schefter.

"From my understanding, my agent told them about the injury before the deal and everything was square," Breeland said in a phone interview with ESPN.com. "Today I got the news they'd taken [the offer] back. I don't know what transpired or what made them feel I'm not worthy of the contract.

"It's an old injury from the fourth grade. I don't understand it. I've been through this before. I got over it at a young age. It's a lot of money on the line. A lot of things going on."

Breeland was scheduled to count $3,833,333 against the 2018 salary cap, $9,833,333 in 2019 and $10,333,334 in 2020. He had agreed to an $8.5 million signing bonus.

The plan was for him to start opposite James Bradberry and replace Daryl Worley, who was traded to Philadelphia in exchange for wide receiver Torrey Smith.

"It's never been an issue," Breeland said of the cut. "I go to a new team, they're not comfortable. I don't understand it. I ain't pointing no figures. At the end of the day, I'm to blame because I failed the physical."

The Panthers now have a need at cornerback. Among free agents still on the market are Delvin Breaux and Rashaan Melvin.

The team was hosting free-agent tight end Eric Ebron, released by the Detroit Lions, on Friday. Free-agent tight end Luke Willson, who has spent the past five years with the Seahawks, visited on Wednesday and Thursday.

Breeland said he won't be in a rush to sign with another team, but he believes he will play this season.

"It was just a freak accident," he said. "But I can't fault them for their decision."