Jordan Gross will retire from football Wednesday, in a move that hurts
Carolina a good deal.
I'll try to go over the Gross move a bit more tomorrow, but in the
meantime, he's a loss as a leader and had one of his best years last
Thomas Davis' restructure/option was redone to add three voidable
years. It puts an "end date" on his contract through 2015, and he'll
get paid $13.5 million for those two years. What the voidable years add
is somewhat minimal, other than cap relief. Davis gets $5 million to
sign, but it's spread through 2014-2018. When 2016 comes along, the
final three years all count at once ($3 million). It's like Davis is a
planned cut that isn't a cut, and it's not unlike what happened with
Gross (who the team certainly wishes was under contract right now, if
he'd play) or Deangelo Williams.
That move saves $3.25 million. It also gives Davis a good two year
paycheck, and it's well earned. At the end of that contract, Davis
would be 32 and have 12 years experience (is that right? I forget Davis
was that young).
Ryan Kalil and Jonathan Stewart were both restructured. Kalil's was a
simple conversion of salary to bonus. It saved $3.1 million. Stewart's
salary was reduced by $715,000, but the Charlotte Observer's sources
don't suggest whether anything changed around that (it's not that likely
they moved much around, but it's hard to say whether Stewart just
outright took a cut, either).
The latest ESPN report puts the Panthers at $28 million under. They do
have 21 free agents to deal with, but at the minimum, it allows them to
choose to franchise tag Greg Hardy, if they wanted to do so. It
definitely creates room if they wanted to sign Cam Newton to a long
extension as wanted (which will cost upwards of $15 million, and if I
had to guess around $17-18 million, per year). Maybe not both, and I
still wouldn't expect a ton of big name free agents, either.
But, Carolina has options. They still have savings from Charles Godfrey
left to deal with - whether they talk him into an outright pay cut or
cut him, he's definitely not playing at a $7.1 million cap figure.
They'll also need some of that space to deal with Gross' absence, and
fully retool that offensive line finally.