The Panthers had very little salary cap room, at least until June, so they created some more for themselves this week.
According to Field Yates of ESPN, the Panthers created $7.24 million in cap space by converting $9.05 million of Luke Kuechly‘s base salary into a bonus. It kicks the can down the road on some cap charges, for a player who will certainly be on the roster well into the future.
The Panthers were running snug against the cap after releasing left tackle Matt Kalil with the post-June 1 designation. That will create $7.25 million in space later this year, but limited them for now, as they were among the bottom teams in the league in terms of cap space.
The Panthers have filled in some blanks in free agency heading into the draft, and brought in veteran offensive lineman Jermon Bushrod for a visit but he left without a deal. They now have a little more room if they want to revisit that, or anything else before next week’s draft.