Williams will still receive $5 million in cash this year, but the deal has been restructured in a way that reduces his cap number to $5 million, a cap savings of $3.2 million that leaves the team $8.46 million under their adjusted 2013 salary cap number of $126.232 million.
The move gives the Panthers room to maneuver in the coming months in case Gettleman finds a free agent acquisition that could help the team. But the Panthers general manager won’t continue the trend of his predecessor, Marty Hurney, of freely spending money with little regard for the future costs.
Any money tossed around in free agency—or on players currently on Carolina’s roster—going forward will be intelligently spent and with the future salary cap in mind. The Panthers are still in dire straits in regard to the current salary cap nightmare. But Williams’ new contract helps a bunch.
The real savings for the Panthers come in 2014 and 2015.
Williams was going to earn a base salary of $5.75 million in 2014 and $6.75 in 2015, according to Yahoo! Sports, but now the Panthers will enjoy a cap savings of approximately $7.07 million over those two years.
Tuesday’s restructuring was Gettleman’s second huge step, per Joel Corry of The National Football Post, towards fixing Carolina’s books.
When left tackle Jordan Gross restructured his contract and saved Carolina $6.8 million in cap space this season and gave him a way to become a free agent in 2014 instead of costing the team $6.7 million, Gettleman set the tone for many unique and forward-thinking methods for the Panthers financial future.
Gettleman, who was handed a nightmarish set of books, now has saved $17.07 million in actual savings with the potential of another $6.7 million if Gross leaves via free agency. Subtract $2.26 million in dead money if the Panthers void Williams’ 2016 and 2017 seasons (added to the contract for proration purposes) and the new Panthers GM has already saved the organization approximately $21.5 million in cap space.
That's not too shabby for a guy who hasn't been on the job for six months.
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes and statements were obtained firsthand.