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With Hardy tagged, Panthers have 21 percent of cap in DEs

Carson Palmer, Greg Hardy, Charles Johnson AP

The Panthers officially announced their decision to use the franchise tag on defensive end Greg Hardy, and made it clear what it really bought them was time.

“The franchise mechanism gives us time to secure the services of a very good player while we continue to look at the future of Greg with the Carolina Panthers,” General Manager Dave Gettleman said in a statement released by the team. “We have had great dialogue with both Greg and his agent. It was important to keep our defensive front together.”

In keeping that front together, they’re committing a load of money to it.

With Charles Johnson set to count more than $16 million against the cap, and Hardy hitting a one-year charge of around $13 million, the Panthers will have more than a fifth of this year’s cap tied up in a pair of players, neither of whom throw passes.

That creates a bit of a bind for the Panthers moving forward, as they still have 18 unrestricted free agents set to hit the market on March 11.

Many of those guys were there on one-year deals anyway, but that’s about all the Panthers can offer until they get some relief in the form of a restructuring of Johnson or either a long-term deal or a trade for Hardy.

The two defensive ends have combined for 49.5 sacks the last two seasons, tied for the most by a tandem in the league over that span.

They also chew up a huge portion of the Panthers salary cap, until the Panthers figure out a way to change those numbers.

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15 Responses to “With Hardy tagged, Panthers have 21 percent of cap in DEs”
  1. craniator says: Feb 28, 2014 5:27 PM

    Both of the Panthers’ DE’s are playing better than Julius Peppers is in Chicago , and I think he’s probably making more than both of them combined.

  2. granadafan says: Feb 28, 2014 5:29 PM

    Games are won or lost on the lines.

  3. robrocker1959 says: Feb 28, 2014 5:33 PM

    Gotta love cap parity. Now with managing the cap and getting good draft picks all 32 teams can make a run for the Superbowl. I like it better than the MLB and the annual NY, Boston LA run for the Series title.

  4. fyxias says: Feb 28, 2014 5:48 PM

    I wish that number was smaller but sometimes you have to go big or go home. They can still come to an agreement on a long term contract to avoid having to pay the tag amount for this coming season. It would be nice if that could happen.

  5. thestrategyexpert says: Feb 28, 2014 6:01 PM

    They still need to get a good GM.

  6. grantsbuds says: Feb 28, 2014 6:01 PM

    That front 7 is sick and will only get better. Brees, Ryan and who ever plays QB for Tampa fear that front.

  7. alshonbrandontandem says: Feb 28, 2014 6:03 PM

    Stupid. Plus add the fact you’re paying D Willy AND J Stewart big money and now you find yourself in the Cowboys class: salary cap hell. Good luck finding money next yr to pay Cam…

  8. realnflmaster says: Feb 28, 2014 6:31 PM

    That’s how you build a team right there!….LOL!

  9. bullethead527 says: Feb 28, 2014 6:37 PM

    After the 2014 season Charles Jonshon’s and DWILL contracts will be easier to cut loose, which would free up money to pay Hardy and put some money towards Cam’s pay.

    Gettleman has a plan, but does not have a lot of wiggle room until the 2015 season. but as we stand now, we have 21 (minus 13 million with Hardy tag), so 8 million now, according to sources the cap will go up to 140 million and then 150 million in 2014 and 2015.

    2014 and 2015 is when Gettleman will be able to get away from this terrible contracts Hurney gave out.

    We still can cut Godfrey and free up a few million this year with a June 1st designation. that will still give us aroun 11 million this year after the Hardy tag…..

    so in 2015 with Cam and Luke getting contracts, with the cap going up and the ability to chop bad contracts, the Panthers will still have room to make some more moves or retain some talent. This year it might be a little rough though.

  10. blueballzny says: Feb 28, 2014 7:35 PM

    @bullet head

    If you cut Godfrey, that 3 million does not become available until June 1st, which NY that time any free agent with value is gone.

    I agree with previous comments that Carolina will soon be able to get rid of those awful contracts, but you underestimate how much $ Cam will want. A QB with his talent; your starting at 20 mil a year but realistically looking at an average salary of 25 mil per year over the length of the contract.

    Don’t forget that your stud MLB will want his money, and adding a WR or two and a CB is necessary.

    That said, I love watching them play. And I’m a Giant fan.

  11. qdog112 says: Feb 28, 2014 8:21 PM

    The first thing a new boss does, is meet with and establish a relationship with his employees. Gettleman has come in to clean up the Hurney mess, but he forgot act like he cares about his players.

    As a Panthers fan, I think contacting your impending free agents is important to give them respect. Who knows, maybe Hardy signs and Gross takes a cut to stay another year. Gettleman has managed to alienate the best Panther of all times and had a boatload of free agents, who he didn’t bother to call.

    BELIEVE THIS: If Steve Smith ain’t happy, that locker room ain’t happy. Gettleman has ZERO people skills, which makes his job harder. Think Smitty hasn’t called Richardson to complain?

  12. mhs8031 says: Mar 1, 2014 9:55 AM

    Lotta Haters on here. We appreciate fans of other teams analyzing our cap for us. Really, thank you. Now bend over and brace yourself for 2014.

  13. dallascowboysdishingthereal says: Mar 2, 2014 3:00 PM

    “Tie up tons of salary dollars in a couple players? Now that’s how it is done.”
    Sincerely, Jerry Jones

  14. jgedgar70 says: Mar 3, 2014 7:53 AM

    I don’t expect the DEs’ cap figure to stay at $29 million. I think CJ will get re-structured and a long-term contract with Hardy will get done so the cap number for the two of them is closer to $10 million. I still think Gettleman is trying to make Smith think he’s being disrespected so he will be POed and have a great year this year.

  15. jgedgar70 says: Mar 3, 2014 7:54 AM

    Of course I meant $20 million for the combined CJ-Hardy cap number…

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