The Carolina Panthers and their fans can breathe a sigh of relief. While it’s a little sigh, it’s a sigh nonetheless. The NFL has just announced that it is expected to raise the salary cap to around $130 million, which would give some teams much needed wiggle room to sign and re-sign players this offseason.
Carolina is a team that is uncertain of its future. Dave Gettleman and the organization is currently struggling to find a way to balance their free agent options while also sorting through Cam Newton’s contract. The Panthers are a team are on the ropes financially. They need to have enough money available to keep their playmakers, while also digging in their pockets to sign on some new free agents and solid draft picks.
Wide receivers are their largest concern, while they also need to find a way to keep or mitigate the defense, which has some of their biggest players (such as Greg Hardy and Captain Munnerlyn) going to the free agent market. This cap increase, while not a godsend, could be a huge help for the Panthers staff.
The Carolina Panthers, whatever happens during the offseason, need to keep the team that brought them a surprise 12-4 season last year. Chemistry is a very big factor is a team sport like football, and it is always a benefit to have players that are used to seeing each other of the field. Unfortunately, that task seemed difficult to impossible with the Panthers’ current situation due to available money and limited cap room.
This increase is nothing but beneficial to the Panthers. The extra money could land them a better free agent, or give them space to negotiate better contracts and keep players they would otherwise lose to the market. This is not just some extra help for the Panthers, it is a break they desperately needed.
There is no doubt, extra cap room or not, that the 2014 Panthers will not be the 2013 Panthers, but with some extra money, they could do a fine impression.