Thursday was an unexpectedly poignant day for Panthers left tackle Jordan Gross.
One of his closest friends, guard Geoff Hangartner, was cut this morning. Then he had to confront his own professional mortality, admitting he’ll retire if the Panthers don’t want him back next season.
Gross restructured his deal this offseason, effectively taking a pay cut and turning it into a one-year deal.
And he said when the time comes for that deal to void five days after the start of the 2014 league year, he has a decision to make.
“If I wanted to move somewhere else, this last offseason was my opportunity to do that – if I would have put up a big fuss and got myself out of this organization,” Gross said, via Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer. “A year later is another year less appealing to go somewhere else. I’m not worried about the team having leverage on me if I say I’m only playing here. . . . I’m only going to play here.”
The 33-year-old Gross may have declined a bit, but is still more than an adequate starter. How he plays this season with determine whether they want their 2003 first-rounder back again.