Last week, the Panthers picked up the options for the 2014 and 2015 seasons on linebacker Thomas Davis’ contract.
Those moves ensured that Thomas would remain in Carolina after his remarkably successful comeback from three torn ACLs that limited him to nine games from 2009 to 2011. They also netted the Panthers some cap space when they added three voidable years onto the back end of the deal.
Exercising the options gave Davis a $5 million bonus and Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reports that the team added the extra years to spread out the cap hit as much as possible. They also reduced Davis’ salary for this year to the veteran’s minimum of $950,000, which slices $3.25 million off of Davis’ cap number for the 2014 season.
That money should come in handy as the Panthers try to re-sign defensive end Greg Hardy and take care of their other business this offseason. Person reports that defensive end Charles Johnson and center Ryan Kalil may also have their contracts adjusted in order to give the Panthers more money to work with as they put together their 2014 roster.