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Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Panthers' cap issues could linger

By Pat Yasinskas

We have yet to see the Carolina Panthers make their salary-cap purge.

They have restructured a couple of contracts to get to about $10 million over the cap. But they’re going to have to release some players before the start of the league year on March 12, because they’re only going to make things more difficult for themselves if they restructure too many more contracts.

Quite simply, the Panthers can’t afford to spread too much more money into the future. The Panthers already have a whopping $139 million committed toward the 2014 salary cap, and that’s with only 43 players under contract for that time period. The cap isn’t going to suddenly escalate by $10 million or $20 million, so the Panthers will have to go through the same thing next year.

Let’s take it even a step further down the road. For 2015, the Panthers already have $111.6 million committed toward the cap. That’s for only 20 players, and quarterback Cam Newton isn't one of them. At some point, the Panthers are going to have to give Newton a very large contract extension.

That’s why restructuring many more contracts to push money back isn’t good for the long term. The Panthers need to get some of the big money off their books now.