Luke Kuechly’s retirement triggers $11.845 million cap charge

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The sudden, stunning decision of Panthers linebacker Luke Kuechly to retire from the NFL carries a price tag for the team. Sort of.

The Panthers owe Kuechly nothing. However, his decision to walk away will result in $11.845 million hitting the cap in 2020.

Kuechly walks away from $10.3 million in 2020 salary, and he’ll owe the team no repayment because his signing bonus proration expired in 2019.

The Panthers, once they move Kuechly to the reserve/retired list, will hold his rights in the event he decides to return. If the Panthers ever release Kuechly from the reserve/retired list, he’ll become a free agent.

The retirement gives the Panthers an immediate hole to fill in the center of their defense, as they commence a new era under coach Matt Rhule.