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October 16, 2006

Morgan's financial impact up in air

Cutting Dan Morgan might not be the financial no-brainer almost everyone seems to think it is.

Sure, the Panthers could save $2 million if they cut the star-crossed linebacker before the start of the 2007 league year. That’s the roster bonus Morgan is scheduled to receive on the first day of the league year in March. They also would save on a $500,000 reporting bonus.

But there are salary cap implications that go way beyond cash up front, and could keep Morgan around if he’s cleared to play after being placed on the injured reserve list this season. Morgan’s cap figure for 2007 is $4.45 million, almost $2 million less than what he’s costing the Panthers this season.

If the Panthers cut Morgan, they’d save $2.5 million in cash, but they wouldn’t save nearly as much in salary cap room. Morgan’s contract runs through 2010 and there is $3.6 million remaining in signing bonus pro-ration. If the Panthers cut Morgan in March, they’d immediately lose that $3.6 million in cap room. For $850,000 more in cap space, they could keep Morgan if he’s healthy.

That decision will be up to the doctors. If Morgan retires, the Panthers would catch a salary cap break. If he doesn’t and is cleared to play, there’s not a lot of cap benefit to cutting him.

This decision might not come down to the salary cap. If Morgan’s declared healthy, chances are he’ll stick around, perhaps with a restructured contract. If he’s not healthy, the situation will take care of itself.

Posted by Observer Sports on October 16, 2006 at 10:49 PM | Permalink


This is WAY too complicated. All I know is we gotta look for another linebacker. I like Dan, a helluva player, but he just can't stay healthy.

Posted by: Ron | Oct 16, 2006 11:32:22 PM

Sounds logical to me. However, it would be nice if Dan would retire because I doubt he will be able to sustain hits and not get a concussion.

Posted by: Scott | Oct 17, 2006 5:58:55 PM

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