The Carolina Panthers aren’t one of the richer teams in the NFL when it comes to cap space headed into the new 2013 NFL calendar year. In fact, they have had to work extremely hard just to get under the cap.
According to Spotrac.com, Carolina has just over $3.88 million in cap room to maneuver with. But there are four recent signings (D.J. Moore, Mike Mitchell, Captain Munnerlyn and Ted Ginn Jr.) whose contract terms have not been calculated into this figure yet.
Cash-strapped general manager Dave Gettleman is going to have to pick and choose his free-agency battles. I’ll keep an eye on the proceedings and keep you updated here on how Carolina is moving around their dollars and cents.
Here’s the breakdown of the Panthers’ cap situation.
Here’s how Carolina got to where they are in regard to the 2013 salary cap.
March 21: Wide receiver Ted Ginn Jr. signed a one-year deal with the Panthers, according to ESPN. Financial terms have not been disclosed at this time.
March 20: Carolina re-signed Captain Munnerlyn to a one-year deal, according to the Charlotte Observer. Financial terms have not been disclosed.
March 20: Safety Mike Mitchell signed with the Panthers, according to the Charlotte Observer. Contract terms have not been released.
March 19: Cornerback D.J. Moore signed with the Panthers, according to the Chicago Tribune. Moore's deal is for one year, but the financial terms have not been released.
March 13: The Panthers signed veteran cornerback Drayton Florence, according to the Charlotte Observer. Florence's contract is a one-year deal worth $1.005 million, of which $620K will count against the salary cap..
March 13: The Associated Press reported that quarterback Derek Anderson re-signed with the Panthers. Anderson's one-year deal is worth $840K to the backup quarterback but only counts as $555K towards Carolina's salary cap this year, according to Spotrac.
March 12: Carolina designated linebacker James Anderson's release as a June 1 cut, meaning they can split his accelerated bonus over two years. This will give the Panthers $3 million in cap space after June 1, according to the Charlotte Observer.
March 8: Carolina released cornerback Chris Gamble, freeing up $7.9 million and getting the Panthers to their current status at $4.078 million under the cap.
March 6: Carolina signed special teams ace and backup linebacker Jordan Senn, according to The Charlotte Observer. Financial terms have not been released.
March 1: Carolina released defensive tackle Ron Edwards and restructured tight end Greg Olsen’s contract, according to The Charlotte Observer. The moves created $4.5 million in cap space.
Left tackle Jordan Gross is scheduled to cripple the Carolina Panthers in 2013 with an $11.7 million cap number. The team has asked him to restructure his current deal to help create space to make moves, according to The Charlotte Observer.
Gross started all 16 games in 2012 and there’s not a viable starting option behind him on the depth chart. All the cards seem to be in his court, but he does understand the business side of the NFL:
I’ve given 10 years to the Panthers and the Panthers have given 10 years to me. And nobody wants this organization to win more than I do. I’d love to be a part of the equation for success in 2013. This is just something that has to get worked out.
Gross's contract lasts through the 2014 season, when he's slated to make $9.7 million in the final year of his deal.