New Carolina Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman has done an excellent job thus far after stepping into a rough situation in Carolina, because the Panthers cap situation was a mess. Coming into the offseason, the Panthers had the second-worst cap standing in the NFL behind only the New York Jets well-publicized mess. Gettleman had to make some extremely difficult decisions along the way, including the release of shutdown cornerback Chris Gamble in order to finally bump the team under the cap limit.
The Panthers have only signed a couple of free agents this offseason in guys like Ted Ginn Jr., and all that releasing only barely put them under the cap threshold. They still needed some more wiggle room, and Jordan Gross has just given them that cushion.
According to Joel Corry of the National Football Post, Jordan Gross has cut his 2013 salary from a whopping $8.7 million to $5.5 million. Gross was a prime candidate for a restructured deal, and the Panthers actually asked their veteran left tackle to take a pay cut (this wasn’t just a “restructure” to allocate base salary as bonus money) for the good of the team.
Gross showed how much of a leader and consummate pro he is by taking that pay cut, and the Panthers are much better off for it. Even though he is 32, Gross is still one of the best tackles in the NFL and the team’s only legitimate tackle. I always find it interesting how Gross and Steve Smith are two of the best Panthers in franchise history and two of the team’s longest-tenured players, and both guys are Utah Utes alumni.
Anyway, Gross’s restructuring had been speculated for quite some time, and the pay cut is now done with. Gross, by the way, had his ankle cleaned out earlier this offseason in a routine procedure, and it will be interesting to see what the Panthers do with this added cap room that has opened up. The only thing that stopped the Panthers strongly considering releasing a 32-year-old making $8.7 million was the fact that they don’t have anyone else at tackle. This is great news for the Panthers, and it was the right move for Gross to make.
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