Only one team in the NFL was over the cap more than the Carolina Panthers heading into the month of March in 2013. The Panthers have only themselves to blame with a steep contract to Mike Tolbert last season and insane amounts of money invested in the backfield.
New general manager Dave Gettleman has a lot on his plate this offseason as his club needs to get underneath the NFL salary cap before it’s too late. Carolina is rarely a big spender in the free agency game and with a Rookie of the Year on both sides of the ball, it’s hard to blame them. Early speculation had the Panthers making a big slash as head coach Ron Rivera hinted at a possible Mike Wallace signing, but that was obviously a pipe-dream as the Miami Dolphins gave Wallace more than $30 million in guaranteed money.
I could’ve told you from the beginning that the Panthers would be sellers because they simply don’t have the funds to bring in a top-notch free agent.
Gettleman has a sticky situation at running back and I expect DeAngelo Williams to be a cap causality in the coming weeks as releasing him would result in $3.5 million in cap space this offseason. With too many mouths to feed in the backfield and needs on both sides of the ball, I think Williams’ days with the Panthers are numbered.
Keep an eye on what Carolina does this free agency period. They also have a large elephant in the room with Cam Newton‘s contract coming off of the books after the 2014 season and an extension looming.