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February 26, 2009

Panthers extend Lewis, helping cap


Carolina Panthers defensive tackle Damione Lewis, who'll be 31 on March 1, had a roster bonus converted to a signing bonus, saving the Panthers salary cap room.

The  Panthers have gained salary cap room by extending the contract of defensive tackle Damione Lewis.

Lewis was due a $2.5 million roster bonus, which the Panthers already had the contractual right to convert into a signing bonus in order to pro-rate it over future years.

Lewis’ contract was scheduled to expire after the 2010 season, but has been extended to 2014.

Since Lewis turns 31 on March 1, it’s highly unlikely he’ll play that long, but the length of the deal allows the Panthers to spread out the guaranteed portion of the contract to make it more cap friendly in the early years.

Lewis’ base salary was reduced next season from $3.17 million to $2 million and from $4.05 million to $755,000 in 2010. His bases are $1.485 million in 2011, $2.115 million in 2012, $2.745 million in 2013 and $3.375 million in 2014.

Lewis started 15 games last season and ranked third among defensive linemen with 48 tackles. His 3 ½ sacks ranked fourth on the team.

Lewis provides interior-line quickness and athleticism from the defensive tackle position.

The Panthers released three players Wednesday, offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges, running back Nick Goings and wide receiver D.J. Hackett, to save salary cap space. They must be under the league's salary cap by midnight for the start of the NFL's year.

-- Charles Chandler

Posted by Observer Sports on February 26, 2009 at 08:14 AM | Permalink


Awfully good of him to do that, seeing that he could have held the Panthers feet to the flames because they really don't have another viable DT on the roster.

Posted by: laxmid8 | Feb 26, 2009 9:03:11 AM

So how much are we under the cap now?

Posted by: Njpanther05 | Feb 26, 2009 9:23:58 AM

stiil might not be under yet. it should be close

Posted by: tj | Feb 26, 2009 9:44:41 AM

The Panthers should look at DE Antonio Smith from Arizona, he's a free agent who plays every game and gets about 6 sacks a year. He should come at a good price and he could be good insurance if Peppers gets traded.

Posted by: JM | Feb 26, 2009 9:45:14 AM

We've got to get Derrick Brooks. I'm pretty sure he plays the position Diggs currently occupies. I know we already have great depth, but imagine Meeks working with Brooks, Beason, and Davis. That would HAVE to be the best linebackers in the league.

Posted by: Gamble20 | Feb 26, 2009 11:07:36 AM

i hate to tell ya gamble but we dont need a washed up brooks who doesnt even fit our d system! it would be nice to have d brooks about 5 years ago and if we played the tampa 2, but we dont!!! we have to need a lb, we need d line help. why stock up on lb's when we are struggling to get under the cap in the 1st place!

Posted by: The PantherMandooza | Feb 26, 2009 11:33:27 AM

Not that im advocating picking up Derrick Brooks, but I why arent we switching to the 3-4? Seriously? I know many of us have been calling for this for the longest time, but come on. We have the talent, and a LB heavy defense. Some of the best defenses in the league are a 3-4, I think it is high time we atleast start throwing a few 3-4 schemes in during the season.

Posted by: JD | Feb 26, 2009 1:05:45 PM

Doesn't dog boy get out of prison in a few months? I bet they could get him cheap!

Posted by: Briarhopper | Feb 26, 2009 1:43:36 PM

Because, JB, we don't have any 3-4 DEs, or LBs big enough to play in the 3-4 scheme. Beason would get eaten alive without a pair of big guys to occupy the middle. Look what happened in the Week 17 game when we started Hayden and Walker. Just two tackles, and an atrocious performance on defense.

Posted by: Michael Procton | Feb 27, 2009 1:02:50 AM

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