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Christian McCaffrey, Shaq Thompson Restructure Panthers Contracts to Open Cap

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistMarch 10, 2021

Carolina Panthers running back Christian McCaffrey (22) warms up before an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Nov. 8, 2020. (AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)
Jeff Roberson/Associated Press

Two of the Carolina Panthers' best players agreed to restructure their contracts to create cap space this offseason. 

Head coach Matt Rhule told reporters on Wednesday that Christian McCaffrey and Shaq Thompson agreed to rework their deals. 

Mike Garafolo @MikeGarafolo

Details on #Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey's restructure: --$7,047,500 of his $8,037,500 base salary converted to a signing bonus --Cap savings in 2021: $5,638,000

The moves come after the NFL informed teams on Wednesday that the 2021 salary cap has been set at $182.5 million, down from the $198.2 million mark last season. 

Spotrac estimates the Panthers had $19.6 million in cap space available before McCaffrey and Thompson renegotiated their deals. Thompson's $14.2 million cap hit in 2021 before restructuring was the second-largest on the team, behind Teddy Bridgewater at $23.0 million. 

McCaffrey was going to have a $12.5 million cap hit prior to adjusting most of his base salary into a signing bonus. He signed a four-year, $64.1 million contract extension with the Panthers in April 2020. 

Injuries limited McCaffrey to three games last season, but he was named to the All-Pro first team in 2019 after leading the NFL with 2,392 yards from scrimmage and 19 total touchdowns. 

Thompson finished second among Carolina defensive players with 114 combined tackles in 2020. He played all 16 games last season for the first time in his six-year NFL career.

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