New receivers big cap savings for Carolina
April, 9, 2014
By David Newton | ESPN.com
Maybe this will help you better understand why Carolina Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman was willing to part with his top wide receivers from 2013.
For a team looking to get out of salary-cap jail, that is a plus.
We'll start with the most recent signee, former Philadelphia receiver Jason Avant. The one-year deal the Panthers gave him on Monday doesn't qualify as a minimum-salary benefit contract because of a $150,000 signing bonus.
Avant also is eligible for a $45,000 workout bonus, which would bring the total of his deal and 2014 cap number to $1,050,000.
That brings the 2014 cap total of the three receivers the Panthers signed -- Jerricho Cotchery ($1.7 million), Tiquan Underwood ($925,000) and Avant -- to $3,675,000.
That is $2,741,666 less than the combined cap value of Steve Smith ($2,166,666, Baltimore) , Brandon LaFell ($2 milion, New England) and Ted Ginn Jr. ($2.25 million, Arizona), Carolina's top three receivers in 2013.
Smith alone was going to count $7 million against the cap this season before the Panthers released him. Carolina still had to pay Smith $5 million in salary and deferred bonuses, but long-term the moves have been a big savings.
Now it comes down to whether the new receivers can replace those lost in production.