The Carolina Panthers began the cap maneuvering process on Friday when they released veteran defensive lineman Ron Edwards. The move comes as no surprise considering the lack of production the team has gotten from the defensive tackle since they signed him to a $8.25 million deal in 2011.
Injuries were the greatest contributor to Edwards disappointing tenure as a Panther. He was forced to miss the entire 2011 season due to a torn triceps, and missed five games in 2012 after he suffered a dislocated elbow. In those 11 games he only managed 14 total tackles and just one sack. Those types of numbers are not going to keep your job safe when your team is over the cap limit and the fat needs to be trimmed.
If the Panthers want to be able to give Cam Newton some added fire power, they are going to need to make several moves to clear up the type of space needed to recruit a top tier weapon for their third-year quarterback sensation.
Cutting Edwards clears around $1.67 million, which may not seem like a lot when you look at the big picture, but for the Carolina Panthers, every little bit helps.
The Panthers carried over $3.65 million in available cap space, but were still around $4 million over the 2013 salary cap before the release of Edwards. Simple math tells you that the cuts will not stop there. Contracts will need to be restructured and players will need to be released, especially if they are going to make any moves in free agency.
Ron Edwards may have been the first player to fall to the cap, but he certainly will not be the last.