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March 13, 2012

What does Hangartner signing mean for Wharton?

The Panthers re-signed starting right guard Geoff Hangartner to a three-year contract today just before Hangartner was set to become an unrestricted free agent, Hangartner told the Observer.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Hangartner started all 16 games in 2011 after he was signed following season-ending injuries to offensive linemen Geoff Schwartz and Garry Williams in training camp. Hangartner played for the Panthers from 2005-2008 before going to Buffalo as a free agent.

After the Bills cut him before Week 1 last year, Hangartner returned to Charlotte on a 1-year deal worth $1 million and immediately became a starter. Hangartner, 29, said his preference was to remain with the Panthers.

“I'd done the free agency deal before and just didn't want to leave the situation we have here,” Hangartner said. “I have great friends here and we're headed in the right direction. It's a great city and a great organization. This is where my heart was and I'm glad that I can stay.”

Hangartner's signing could make veteran guard Travelle Wharton expendable. Wharton, 30, entering his ninth season, has a salary-cap figure of $7.6 million.

The Panthers would save $3.8 million toward the cap by cutting Wharton.

Neil Schwartz, Wharton's agent, declined to comment when asked whether he was working on restructuring Wharton's contract and directed questions to Panthers general manager Marty Hurney.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on March 13, 2012 at 05:33 PM | Permalink


Why would re-signing one starting OG make the starter on the other side expendable? Especially when our only other servicable guard is now an unrestricted FA?

Do you ever think before you write this drivel, Joe?

Posted by: Stumpy | Mar 13, 2012 5:51:30 PM

OK Stumpy, so if the Panthers now release Wharton, can we expect you to be back here apologizing?

As Person points out, Wharton may be an expense the Panthers can't afford right now: "The Panthers would save $3.8 million toward the cap by cutting Wharton."

I always love that many fans assume they know more about football than people who actually do it, or report on it for a living!

Posted by: John | Mar 13, 2012 6:19:05 PM

BTW, the fact that Wharton's agent declined to comment and directed all questions to Marty Hurney makes it sound like there might be something to it.

Posted by: John | Mar 13, 2012 6:21:03 PM

If they do release Wharton, does that necessarily mean they are looking at DeCastro in the draft?

Posted by: Wow | Mar 13, 2012 6:21:54 PM

Wharton was gone a couple of months ago! start packing your bags Baker!

Posted by: joe cool | Mar 13, 2012 6:23:24 PM

This time of year always makes me sick. Other teams are bringing talent and our sportswriter GM does nothing but look at his overpaid, talent void roster.

Posted by: PantherJohn | Mar 13, 2012 6:26:33 PM

Panthers.com sez Wharton is gone.

Posted by: Keeping it 100 | Mar 13, 2012 6:28:05 PM

gross moves to guard Reiff from Iowa is the first round pick! 3.8 million saved from wharton+ 1.02 from washington and dallas + davis reworked contract to get under cap to start day. steve smith reworked contract= they signing someone!

Posted by: joe cool | Mar 13, 2012 6:34:43 PM

If Wharton is released will the offensive line be a carbon copy of the defenssive line this past season? What a terrible mistake!!! It's all about the money not the talent and the one who can get the job done.

Posted by: LISA | Mar 13, 2012 6:48:14 PM

Lisa, when you are $9 million OVER the salary cap, of course it's all about money! I wouldn't be surprised if they approached him about restructuring and he refused. Who knows? But, they HAD to get below the cap by 4PM today.

Posted by: John | Mar 13, 2012 7:04:37 PM

OK, Stumpy, are you going to apologize?

Posted by: Arealpanthersfan | Mar 13, 2012 7:07:43 PM

Wharton IS expendable... Gary Williams did a good job replacing him when he was injured... LT Gross LG G.Williams C Kalil RG Hangartner, and if they were smart, cut or rework Otah's contract, get Bell in there more at RT... G. Williams is trying to go to RG, so Hangartner may move to LG... Schwartz, Bernadeau, and Z. Williams are backups... If Bell goes down, G. Williams can shift to RT, and then one of the backups can come in to fill in void at G making Otah expendable.

Posted by: Gerald | Mar 13, 2012 7:25:42 PM

"Lisa, when you are $9 million OVER the salary cap"

Where are you getting your numbers from? SERIOUSLY they are $1.3 under the cap before restructuring/cutting players to save more cash.

Posted by: lol | Mar 13, 2012 7:28:26 PM

@lol... Where are you getting your numbers? After RESIGNING Hangartner and Cutting Wharton, the Panthers are still about 6 MIL over Cap... you're speculating about other restructured contracts (T. Davis, S. Smith, Otah, and possible others)...

Posted by: Gerald | Mar 13, 2012 7:54:22 PM

No Gerald we were 1.3 mil under the cap before any moves were made..if you would read NFL.com lacanfora said it. Yasinkis had his numbers wrong

Posted by: iknow | Mar 13, 2012 8:29:18 PM

@Gerald - Otah is in the last year of his rookie contract, which in a majority of the cases, is very low. Since they top load the salary at the beginning. Otah only has aprox (1) million dollar salary this year. You keep him for that, since that is below the league minimum for starting OL men. If he gets hurt again this year (2012), then you cut your losses.

Posted by: Catsnmbr1Fan | Mar 13, 2012 10:24:54 PM


Go to nfl.com and read jasonlaforna article on the current cap space. Now since restructuring/cutting players they are $6.5-7 million UNDER the cap.

Posted by: lol | Mar 14, 2012 12:26:37 PM

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