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Panthers clear $7.25 million in cap space via restructurings

Gettleman AP

As the Panthers prepare to try to keep some of their talented free agents, their G.M. is using his talents to create enough cap space to pay them.

According to Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer, Dave Gettlemen has cleared $7.25 million in 2014 cap space via the restructuring of three veteran contracts.

Center Ryan Kalil, running back Jonathan Stewart, and linebacker Thomas Davis have agreed to new deals, and the extra cap space has placed the Panthers $29 million under the projected 2014 cap of $132 million.

More cap room could be created via a potential restructuring of the contract of defensive end Charles Johnson, who has a team-high cap number of $16.4 million.

The team’s 2014 free agents include cornerback Drayton Florence, receiver Ted Ginn, Jr., tackle Jordan Gross, defensive end Greg Hardy, receiver Domenik Hixon, receiver Brandon LaFell, safety Quentin Mikell, safety Mike Mitchell, and cornerback Captain Munnerlyn.

Free agency launches two weeks from today.

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28 Responses to “Panthers clear $7.25 million in cap space via restructurings”
  1. comatrip1 says: Feb 25, 2014 9:34 AM

    Such nonsense. You should have to pay for the mistakes you make with your contracts. I hate that teams can do this.

  2. southpaw2k says: Feb 25, 2014 9:41 AM

    Sounds like the Panthers are planning on making a big splash in free agency. Eric Decker maybe?

  3. jgedgar70 says: Feb 25, 2014 9:42 AM

    Like I’ve been saying, Gettleman clearly has a plan, he just hasn’t been yapping about it. Restructure CJ and we should be in good shape to keep the free agents we want. I suspect Hixon, LaFell, Florence and Mikell aren’t going to be re-signed. They must keep Hardy, and keeping Ginn and Munnerlyn would be smart. Our draft needs are very obvious – WR and depth in the seconary and offensive line. I think we’ll get it all done.

    GO PANTHERS!

  4. str8infamous says: Feb 25, 2014 9:47 AM

    They also have to extend Cam Newton who’s salary would be at least $9Mil/yr plus what ever signing bonus they offer with guarantees.

  5. thebirdsareback says: Feb 25, 2014 9:52 AM

    Nice Work. How about putting that 7 mil to that dumb of a stadium. The city is so cool, the outside of the stadium is really nice. And then the PA and Video “screen” pop up and you get an immediate sad face. Its not the true NFL environment Charlotte deserves! Thanks for taking good care of us baltimorians when we made the trip

  6. kiteridler says: Feb 25, 2014 9:54 AM

    In Gettleman We Trust

  7. realnflmaster says: Feb 25, 2014 10:09 AM

    Better hope Stewart and/or Davis doesn’t get injured or you’re going to be in the exact same situation next year.

  8. turbolove says: Feb 25, 2014 10:28 AM

    Nicely done. Making room for that Cam Newton contract!

  9. borisbulldog says: Feb 25, 2014 10:34 AM

    Who cares, once they overpay to sign players they’ll be right back in the same boat!

  10. 1heatedtoombrayduh says: Feb 25, 2014 10:36 AM

    The restructuring of contracts like this had oakland in cap hell for a substantial amount of time…good luck

  11. keeppounding says: Feb 25, 2014 10:41 AM

    Impressive

  12. neej49er says: Feb 25, 2014 10:42 AM

    The Panthers are a solid team, they will only continue to get better

  13. richardmswartz says: Feb 25, 2014 10:45 AM

    Does this mean Mike Mitchell probably doesn’t hit the market? As an Eagles fan, Carolina’s front office just made the Eagles first round pick a little more clear.

  14. gbmickey says: Feb 25, 2014 10:51 AM

    When will teams learn when you keep restructuring you end up in a predicament like the Steelers or Cowboys are in now. All it does is screw you for the future.

  15. prosportswashington says: Feb 25, 2014 11:04 AM

    They have FAR too much money tied up at RB/FB considering you can find effective guys in the later rounds

  16. bigbaldpapahawk says: Feb 25, 2014 11:05 AM

    Good move by the Panthers GM. I want to hear some of this going on in Seattle.

  17. qdog112 says: Feb 25, 2014 11:08 AM

    Gettleman is relying on home town discounts across the board in order to field a competitive team next year. People saying he has a plan are right, but if you’re a GM and have NO plan, what are you doing in that position?

    His intentions were clear last year, when he got concessions from several players. He has no choice, but to continue that course. That doesn’t make him a genius.

    To avoid setbacks, he got Davis to restructure and now Hardy has to be secured. Losing Hardy will dismantle all that has been built on defense. Now he must get Steve Smith to restructure or he may be let go. Let’s see how praise he gets if he bungles that delicate situation.

  18. virgiltab says: Feb 25, 2014 11:16 AM

    I expect a the Panthers to trade Jonathan Stewart. They have restructured him so hopefully his contract is a little more attractive to other teams. He’s played like 4 games over the past couple years, it’s time for a fresh start for him elsewhere

  19. sportsmeccabi says: Feb 25, 2014 11:24 AM

    I am not worried about the future cap hit that comes from the restructuring.

    Either or both Jonathan Stewart’s and DeAngelo Williams’s bad deals will be off the books within two years, Jon Beason is still taking up a nice chunk of the cap, so that is where this current money will come from.

    Gross’s contract will also not be a problem much longer (assuming Gettleman resigns him) and there will probably be a cheaper replacement soon.

    The only potential problems are 3-4 years down the road, which in the NFL is too far to worry about because you never know what will happen.

  20. bbourne0 says: Feb 25, 2014 11:29 AM

    Panthers fan here.

    It won’t screw you for the future if you can adequately prepare for it (that’s not to say that the Panthers have, I’m just saying.)

    For instance, you could look into 2015 and say player x’s contract is running out and he held an 8 million dollar cap hit – let’s restructure players Y and Z to fill that void from player X, and so on.

    However, it ultimately takes plus drafting in order to bear the deferred cap hit. The average salary for a playoff QB last year $8.86 Million/year. If you’re able to maintain a roster of moderately productive 2nd/3rd year role players that you drafted in rounds 2-5, you can afford to keep those big numbers down the line.

    It can be done, but it’s just tough. Hopefully Gettleman will continue to draft well and the Panthers won’t run in to the cap issues down the road due to it.

  21. ballreaper says: Feb 25, 2014 11:48 AM

    The panthers need to really get their star QB some playmaking RECEIVERS.and that point can’t be stress enough.and they need more than one.

  22. sandersmarcus10 says: Feb 25, 2014 12:28 PM

    Hope the Panthers get secondary help, DRC maybe and someone to help SM out at receiver on a consistant basis

  23. kbuck89 says: Feb 25, 2014 12:35 PM

    So you praise the Panther’s GM for restructuring contracts to make more cap room, but when Dallas does it he has no idea how to handle the cap. Very interesting.

  24. lukekuechlyrocks59 says: Feb 25, 2014 12:42 PM

    There are 3, maybe 4 of the FA’s you have listed, that the Panthers, IMO, either have a need to re-sign, or they had better have a back-up plan that they know about, and the fans definitely do not. Ted Ginn was a STEAL for Carolina, and he contributed to the offense, and special teams significantly. Letting him go just doesn’t make any sense at all to me. Same with Brandon LaFell. He and Ginn were two wideouts that inflicted some serious damage to opponents in 2013. I’d certainly be, if I were in the position, open to the option of bringing both of them back.
    The way DE Greg Hardy, (aka The Kracken) took his game to the next level in 2013 proves to me that he wants it, and smells it (all). I saw his dedication, his talent, and his relentless intent to constantly disrupt the opposing offenses.
    Jordan Gross has been a lynch pin in Carolina’s offensive line for quite a few years now. It COULD BE that management, and/or coaches see something that I personally have not, or I guess it might be that his contract has run it’s course, and that all parties need to work on a new deal…UNLESS Carolina has their eye on someone else, be it FA or draftee. All I know is that if they expect Cam Newton to be standing up in the pocket, instead of sitting or lying down, that O-line has to be good, AND it needs to be anchored. Jordan Gross has been that anchor for a number of years, and I’m just wondering if, (now that he’s a free agent), Carolina still thinks highly enough of him to utilize that strength and experience to again anchor the O-line with Matt Kalil as some of his company.

  25. cannonballdookie says: Feb 25, 2014 1:16 PM

    Speaking for fantasy football players everywhere, please get rid of one of your RBs already!
    Way too much tied up in that position. Tolbert is actually a great fit but they need to get rid of one of the other two for anything. This is a team that’s so close, if only they had a bit more flexibility to help out the secondary and receivers.

  26. abfox112 says: Feb 25, 2014 1:24 PM

    DECKER!!!!’

  27. Giantspunk213 says: Feb 25, 2014 2:23 PM

    The Panthers have a leader on offense in Cam, a leader on defense in Luke, and money to make a good team even better, pretty nice

  28. saints12013 says: Feb 25, 2014 3:56 PM

    Panthers have one of the worse cap situations in the league. Their a one hit wonder. Great at building a solid D, but don’t have a clue about how to build a top 5 offense. How many years has it been now that they should’ve went out and got a stud WR and still haven’t yet ? Oh but wait, they’ll spend their whole cap on a plethora of RBs though. Their definition of going out and getting a good pass catcher is bringing in Greg Olsen. Decker would be great, but how about the hometown guy Hakeem Nicks ? Or even somebody like James Jones.

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