One of the focuses for Carolina Panthers' general manager Dave Gettleman when he took over the role was to fix the team's salary cap. In a short period of time, he not only achieved that but put the franchise in position to extend key players like Cam Newton, Luke Kuechly and Thomas Davis last season.
This offseason is a little different because the Panthers' don't have as much cap space as they did a season ago, however they also don't have as many high profile names they will need to sign to long-term deals. This group pretty much starts and finished with cornerback Josh Norman.
The Panthers' currently have just over $18.2 million dollars in cap space, however that number may go up due to the fact that NFL has not finalized the salary cap for the upcoming season. This number though does already include the $2.25 million in dead money from the contracts of Roman Harper and Jerricho Cotchery voiding this week. While this may appear to be a good amount of money, it only ranks 21st in the NFL.
The majority of the team's cap is tied up at the defensive end position with $27,987,317, which is 20.52% of the total salary cap. This is the second highest total in the league but this could change by the time free agency begins. If the team wants to create additional cap space, Charles Johnson and Jared Allen seem to be two of the more likely candidates to be cap casualties.
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The quarterback position accounts for over 15% of the cap due to the contract extension signed by Newton last year. While this is a significant part of the Panthers' salary cap, the team's total payroll at the position ($21,450,000) only ranks 11th in the league.
At the other end of the spectrum, the team ranks near the bottom of the league at wide receiver ($6,899,997) and cornerback ($3,094,750), both ranking 31st out of 32 teams. That could change for the cornerback position if the team signs Norman to a long-term deal or use the franchise tag to keep him here next season.
*All contract and cap space figures courtesy of Spotrac.