Panthers will face future cap challenges

The recent spending spree by the Carolina Panthers, highlighted by owner Jerry Richardson writing checks for more than $100 million in signing bonuses, is going to come with a very steep price -- down the road.

I just looked ahead to what each team currently has committed to the salary cap in 2014 and 2015. The Panthers lead the league in both years and it’s not even close.

The Panthers already have $91.6 million committed toward the cap in 2014. The Green Bay Packers are next at $62 million and most teams are around $30 million to $40 million. Heck, the Cleveland Browns are last with $17.7 million scheduled against the cap that year.

The rest of the NFC South is on the higher end of the list for 2014, Atlanta is at $55 million. New Orleans is at $53 million and Tampa Bay is a little over $50 million.

In 2015, with Charles Johnson slated to have a $15 million cap figure, the Panthers have $61 million committed to the cap and that’s made up of exactly six players (Johnson, James Anderson, Jon Beason, DeAngelo Williams, Greg Olsen and Thomas Davis) currently under contract through that year. Only the San Diego Chargers are even remotely close at $43 million.

In 2015, Atlanta currently has $37 million committed toward the cap and Tampa Bay has $30 million. Both are well above the league average, which is $22 million. The Saints are at $15.9 million.

Interesting note here, the Bengals and Dolphins don’t have a penny committed to the 2015 cap yet and the Minnesota Vikings are at $1.4 million.