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Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Thomas Davis staying with Panthers

By Pat Yasinskas

The Carolina Panthers have found a way to keep linebacker Thomas Davis.

Davis
Davis
Although he is coming off his third torn ACL, the Panthers want Davis back, and they made it happen by working around salary-cap challenges. A league source told ESPN.com that Davis’ deal has been restructured to free up $3.8 million in salary-cap space.

The Panthers chose not to exercise an $8 million option bonus that was due this week. The bonus was put in as a safeguard when Davis signed a new contract last summer. He suffered his third injury early last season.

Davis’ cap figure for 2012 is now a comfortable $2.1 million. In addition to not getting the bonus, Davis took a cut in base salary from $2.25 million to $700,000 for this season.

But Davis can recoup some of the money later in the contract that runs through 2015. He has a $500,000 option bonus in 2013, and a $2.5 million second option in 2014. His new base salaries rise steadily each season. If he’s still with the team in 2015, his base salary will be $7.25 million.