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Panthers Now In Position To Franchise Or Re-Sign DE Greg Hardy

Last night, Brian McIntyre mentioned that the Panthers restructured the contracts of C Ryan Kalil and RB Jonathan Stewart in order to create some immediate cap relief.

Joe Person reported earlier in the day that the Panthers also restructured the contract of LB Thomas Davis.

The Panthers freed up close to $7.25 million in cap space with these moves and are now expected to be $29 million under the 2014 salary cap based a few projections floating around on the Internet.

  • It’s worth noting that the Jason Fitzgerald and Joel Corry both have the Panthers at closer to $19 million in cap space, so the $29 million could actually be overstated.

Given their current financial situation, the Panthers could conceivably re-sign or even franchise tag free agent DE Greg Hardy in the coming weeks. The franchise would run the Panthers close to $12.6 million guaranteed next season.

Previous reports have mentioned that Hardy could be targeting a deal that would surpass the six-year, $78 million contract Panthers signed DE Charles Johnson to a few years ago.

Many expected Hardy to test the open market based on the cap issues that Carolina has been dealing with, but they could actually increase their cap space even further by reworking the contract of Johnson, who has a staggering $16.4 million cap figure.

There is, of course, a price for restructuring all these contracts as the Panthers are essentially pushing off cap hits to future years, which is the reason why the Pittsburgh Steelers have cap issues every year.

The Panthers have a number of free agents to address as well including: CB Captain Munnerlyn, LT Jordan Gross, G Travelle Wharton, WR Ted Ginn, CB Drayton Florence and S Mike Mitchell.

We have Hardy listed as the No. 2 player in our Top 50 Free Agents list.


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