I know that the timing is the only problem, and that returning these players is important, but it's tough hearing that various players are rejoining the Panthers and Steve Smith isn't.
Nonetheless, as expected, the Panthers will keep Byron Bell, but chose tendering him at the second round compensation mark, which will cost the team $2.1 million. The team chose to upgrade to the second round tender to keep a team from taking him (no one in their right mind would pay more than $2.1 million and give up a second for Bell), but I don't think many teams were lining up for the guy anyway.
To be more economical, the Panthers could've come up with a one year deal with Bell, or a two year deal with a little guarantee behind it. Or they could've tendered at the $1.43 million level, which still gives them right of first refusal.
They also tendered Chris Scott, an EFA I believe.
So, not the best day for Dave Gettleman in my opinion. Some moves might've had to be made, but the idea of handing Steve Smith walking papers so you can pay Byron Bell more money is not the best way to sleep at night.