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WCS Salary Cap Series: Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton and the Panthers finally broke through in 2013, reaching the playoffs in his 3rd season.

Cam Newton and the Panthers finally broke through in 2013, reaching the playoffs in his 3rd season.

Our first two articles touched on two teams deep in the salary cap hole, New Orleans and Detroit. We are now focusing to a team starting the year under the cap, the Carolina Panthers. Carolina is rolling over more than $10 million in cap space from 2013, giving them a total salary cap of $138,573,268 for 2014. With $123,431,496 in salaries committed towards the cap, that leaves the Panthers with $15,141,772 in free space to work.

With this unique situation, and after examining the Panthers current salaries, I do not believe they will be in the situation to release players to free up space. However, the Panthers do have work to do this off season if they want to be able to resign some of their own big name players that are set to become free agents this year.

Contract Restructures

The Panthers start the 2014 off season with only 2 players that have cap hits over $10 million, Charles Johnson ($16,420,000) and Ryan Kalil ($10,400,000). Johnson is signed through 2016 and Kalil through 2017, meaning restructures of these two contracts is the smartest way for the Panthers to free up cap space.

Restructuring Johnson’s contract has the potential to free up an additional $5,263,333 in cap space, dropping his salary cap figure to $11,156,667. Ryan Kalil’s potential restructure has the ability to drop his salary cap figure to $7,478,750, freeing up $2,921,250 in cap space. This extra $12,742,083 in cap space can be well used by the Panthers, as it will increase their free space to $23,326,355.

Cam Newton

Carolina's Superman will be unlikely to receive a new contract this off season.

Carolina’s Superman will be unlikely to receive a new contract this off season.

There is no doubt that the Carolina Panthers view Cam Newton as their franchise QB, and he will receive a contract that will pay him as such. However, Cam will not be receiving a contract extension this season, as the Panthers can still keep him under contract through the 2015 season for relatively cheap. This is because of a fifth year option that can be applied to all first round rookies under the new CBA.

In the case of a player like Cam Newton, his draft position means that he would be paid the average salary of the top 10 paid QBs from the 2013 season during the 2015 season. This number has not been officially released, but rough projections put that number at roughly $15 million.

Players have no way of avoiding this option, as skipping training camp can result in large fines and missing a preseason game could see fines of up to $30,000. Teams have from the start of the league year until May 3rd to decide if they will use this option, and there is no reason to believe Cam Newton will avoid his fifth year option.

Unrestricted Free Agents

Greg Hardy's play will make him one of the highest played DE in the NFL next season.

Greg Hardy’s play will make him one of the highest played DE in the NFL next season.

The Panthers currently have 20 players set to become unrestricted free agents, and the biggest name on the list is DE Greg Hardy. Hardy is coming off seasons that included 11 and 15 sacks and is viewed by many as one of the top free agents with the potential to hit the market this off season.

While the Panthers should have the cap space to franchise Hardy if they need to, it would not be the best option for the team. Instead, they should try to work out a new deal, despite the fact that it is likely to pay him similar to teammate Charles Johnson, near $13 million per season.

If the Panthers decide to let Hardy walk, the team will likely look to replace him with one of their draft picks this season and spread their money to other targets. Besides Hardy, the Panthers other 19 unrestricted free agents are Jordan Gross (who might retire), Domenik Hixon, Captain Munnerlyn, Ted Ginn Jr., Travelle Wharton, Jimmy Clausen, Mike Mitchell, Graham Gano, Bruce Campbell, Ben Hartsock, Jordan Senn, Quintin Mikell, Colin Cole, Derek Anderson, Drayton Florence, Geoff Hangartner, Jason Williams, Dan Connor, and Eric Norwood.

1621 comments
The Real CJammin
The Real CJammin

Mark Brunell needs to shut up.  He is saying "marijuana can ruin lives."  Bitch, please.  There are a lot more legal substances that ruin lives more than marijuana.  And I don't think I've ever heard someone dying from marijuana overdose, outside of The Onion.


And yes, I'm up at 4 AM!  Radio morning show.

bp.
bp. moderator

Good night. 

bp.
bp. moderator

Rhianna and Shakira are whore sluts.

bp.
bp. moderator

Redshorts sure played it cool in Glovie's video.  

gatrbuc17 again
gatrbuc17 again moderator

The Gators managed to turn the tables a little though, with the flipping of 4-star quarterback Treon Harris.

Harris has been committed to the Seminoles since July, but surprised many by announcing his decision to switch to Gainesville.

It should be a good move for Harris. Both contenders have quarterbacks – Winston with FSU and 2014 recruit Will Grier at Florida – but at 5’11 and 186 pounds, it was unlikely that quarterback was in Harris’ future at either school. Instead his track speed and explosive playmaking ability will serve him well at UF, whose offense has been stagnant lately. Expect Harris to play a “slash” role, similar to Percy Harvin’s role with the Gators a few years back.

robertj72
robertj72

Anyone know straight off what picks GB has throughout the 2014 draft?

LOLUNCFAN
LOLUNCFAN

I did my taxes  about a week ago and it turns out with  the money I'm getting back and the money I'll  be making  this summer  will be enough to  go back to college in the fall and I'm pretty excited about that 

nonstradamus
nonstradamus

I wish I were smart. I just keep plugging away till I find something that works reasonably well. It takes me far longer to come to a serviceable solution for basic problems than it does for most people. I find it rather humbling interacting with most people.

bp.
bp. moderator

Rarick, my tickets to Saturday's Wolves game will likely be open.  I can't use them, and my friend rarely goes without me.  I have not confirmed with him yet.  If open, you interested?

robertj72
robertj72

Leno is the most unfunny tool to ever blight late night.

The Real CJammin
The Real CJammin

@bp.  Emily Ratajkowski.  She'll be in the SI Swimsuit Issue as one of the "rookies."

jmac3444
jmac3444

@bp. this song blows and all the hookers look soulless. good looking but soulless

nonstradamus
nonstradamus

@Staffords_Glove™  Beautiful job keeping your hips in a plane. I watch so many guys dipping their hips in a partial squat, but your form was textbook. Well done.

nonstradamus
nonstradamus

@TheMostUnapologeticLineCrossingHorseInTheWorld  I work in fraud detection for a money-transfer company. I specialize in dealing with German customers, though numerically I probably deal with more American and British clients. Basically, I am paying my dues as an audition for a data analyst position down the road, which would be more interesting and better hours.

bp.
bp. moderator

@robertj72  Actual answer: BWC probably does, he's some kind of freak.

Staffords_Glove
Staffords_Glove

I probably could do a bit more with straps but I hate them so much. Next week I'll have to just chalk up

robertj72
robertj72

@TheMostUnapologeticLineCrossingHorseInTheWorld I want to know what incriminating pictures he has to get the gig over Letterman then waste multi-millions on his HORRIBLE 10 PM show then get his failure of a show back from Conan costing many many more millions. The network would have shown a better profit just going dark.

nonstradamus
nonstradamus

@Staffords_Glove™  Yeah, if you can avoid the straps, that's the way to go. You mean you didn't chalk up with this lift? Most impressive. I miss the days I could lift that much. I'll get back there eventually.

Staffords_Glove
Staffords_Glove

I now understand. It's been a long day. Brain no work good

bp.
bp. moderator

@Staffords_Glove™  I wasn't confused.  I was just relating the one part of it that I can also do.

nonstradamus
nonstradamus

@bp. @Rourke Decker We are quite interested. We would need to arrange for childcare, but we can probably do that. I will get back to you tomorrow.