What happened to Bruce Nelson?

The sad career of offensive lineman Bruce Nelson came to an end Friday when the Carolina Panthers waived their former second-round draft pick.

After failing a physical on Friday morning, Nelson told team officials that he doesn't believe he'll ever be the same following a pair of hip operations last year and that he plans to retire.

Nelson, 26, started only one game in two seasons with the Panthers and missed all of last year after it was discovered he had a degenerative hip problem.

The Panthers had hoped Nelson would be a long-term answer for them at guard when they selected him 50th overall in 2003 out of Iowa.

Ironically, Nelson was a very durable player for the Hawkeyes, where he started 48 games during his college career.

"Bruce came to us today and said he didn't think it was going to get any better," Panthers head coach John Fox said.

Asked about how disappointing it is to have invested a second-round pick in a player, but only to get minimal production, Fox replied, "It comes with the territory. It's not a perfect world by any stretch. He did everything in his power. It's not anyone's fault. It's unfortunate, but it's part of the game."

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