Panthers make moves, create space

The Panthers made some moves today that will allow them to make some moves in free agency and keep some key players.

Dan Morgan
According to and the Rock Hill Herald's Darin Gantt, the Panthers have creatively restructured Morgan's contract to reduce his cap hit and allow him to remain with the team using a per-game bonus. According to PFT, Morgan's bonus will net him $125K every time he plays in a game. How would you like to make that every week you show up to work? Morgan will take even more precautions like using yet another mouthpiece design and facemask to try to curb his concussion problem. How this effects the salary cap is unknown at the moment, we should have an update tomorrow.

Karl Hankton
The Panthers cut special teams captain Karl Hankton today, saving roughly $800K. Hankton was a good special teams player in the past, but was getting long in the tooth and the team couldn't justify paying a player $800K to be a lousy wide receiver and part of a pitiful special teams unit as well.

Mike Rucker
Mike Rucker did some creative restructuring that will allow him to remain on the team and free up around $2 million in cap space for the Panthers. For more details on Rucker's restructuring, check out Pat Yasinskas' article on

Jake Delhomme
The specifics aren't known, but somehow the Panthers reworked the deal for Jake Delhomme and saved a whopping $4 million on this years' salary cap. Details aren't available at this time, but before this deal, NFLPA had Delhomme's cap value at around $10 million for the upcoming season.

Other Moves
The Panthers also made tenders to their three restricted free agents (Drew Carter, Jordan Carstens and Micheal Gaines) as well as their exclusive rights free agent Nate Salley. The team also resigned QB Brett Basanez and FB Stephen Jackson to one-year deals. Tight End Kris Mangum retired yesterday, which freed up $1 million and the team cut DE Al Wallace a few days ago in a move that freed up $1.1 million as well.

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