Now that I've put out some commentary on the two largest potential cuts
in Chris Gamble and Jordan Gross, time to complete the picture. Here's
my opinion on how to clear a total of $22 million*.
Ron Edwards, $2.4 million - Carolina needs a guy just like this, but
Edwards himself was only that guy for 11 games over two years, and he
wasn't as impactful as most assumed.
Garry Williams, $1 million - a backup who got hurt early in 2011,
spawning the re-sign of Geoff Hangartner. He's not a starter, and the
team knows that.
Haruki Nakamura, $900,000 - Nakamura is a very good special teamer, and
he knows the game. He's rarely out of position, but the Atlanta game
haunts him. Carolina tried this, and it had mixed results. On a team
with stronger options and space to keep him, he'd be an ideal backup who
could give you 20+ snaps a game playing on every special teams unit.
But here, they need a starter, and they've gotta go get that first.
We come out of this section with $4.3 million; sadly enough, that's
right about at the amount that I have listed at the bottom of the
article to sign roleplayers that would likely end up replacing the
players above. But, if any of the above had earned the modest contracts
they had, they wouldn't need replacing.
The Hard Cut
Gamble, $7.9 million - again, what seems like a no-brainer isn't an
easy decision to me. Gamble's leaving creates a big hole in the
secondary, no matter what happened in his absence.
Jordan Gross, $5.25 million
By adding two years to Gross' deal (that currently has only 2013 and
2014 on it), and dropping his 2013 salary by $7 million, Carolina
spreads out that existing salary across four years and both sides gain
security. The team could easily do this for Chris Gamble, too - and
save a similar amount, but that may not be in the cards.
The Late Cut
Deangelo Williams, $4.75 million - is vauable to the team. And, Mike
Shula is the type coordinator more likely to use both Williams and
Jonathan Stewart. However, my guess is that the New Orleans game to end
the season didn't impress outsiders (including Dave Gettleman) enough to
have value here or in trade. So my guess is, they'll get past the
draft, and not have a lot of options. Williams (in my estimation) won't
take a paycut and won't have trade value, so he'll end up a June cut
(the team could exercise that type cut in Feburary, sure, but I don't
think they will).
*this would include a deficit of $11.5 million, the $4.3 million
estimated to sign draft picks, and $4.2 million worth of players to sign
at very modest contracts. Anything more than that would require greater
The team comes out of that with $22.2 million saved. That's a hair
more than required, though that still leaves the team with only $6.4
million to spend (along with the 14, 45, and 105 picks). With that
money, you have to go get two starters at DT, at least one starting OL,
a decent backup TE, a good fullback or backup RB depending on where you
put Mike Tolbert, two corners, and probably a safety.
That's eight needs, without touching things like whether you want an
upgrade at veteran WR, line depth, or upgrading the backup DTs, DEs,
etc. Or, God forbid, extending a player like Greg Hardy. It's still a
thin margin. Maybe there's additional relief in eating more proration
in 2014 (cutting a lower tier guy like James Anderson for smaller gain,
or a higher risk and less likely cut like Jon Beason), but that doesn't
seem like Gettleman's style.