The Panthers needed to save a little money on Jordan Gross, and Gross needed to decide whether he wanted to take a chance at the same money being somewhere else, minus moving costs.
That led the Panthers long-time left tackle to accept less on what amounts to a one-year deal with the Panthers now. He’ll make $5.5 million this season (down from the $8.7 million he was scheduled to make in base salary), and his contract can void next year.
“To restructure you have to decide how it helps or hurts you and then you have to decide where your priorities lie,” Gross told Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer. “Whether it’s getting every absolute last dollar or staying with the team or moving your family. So there’s a lot to take into account.
“For me, I was told by the team that they wanted to do something and it took us a while to get to it because I had to think about it a lot but in the end it was a situation that was good for me and my family and good for the team so it made sense.”
So while he’s not making the same money he was scheduled to make, he didn’t have to fight in a market that hasn’t been kind to veteran free agents. With younger tackles falling short of their contract goals, the 32-year-old might not have found as much as he’s making somewhere else.
Plus, he gets to take one more shot with the Panthers as presently constructed, though that core of players won’t have many more chances. Actually, the pay-cut to Gross is yet another signal this is a make-or-break year for many in Charlotte.
“I’ve always said I want to stay here and want the team to win, and when I came in we went to the Super Bowl,” Gross said. “And I feel responsible for not being back to that level and so I’d like for that to happen while I’m here. Leave it how you found it, or better.”
For Gross, that sense of obligation only cost him $3 million or so.