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February 15, 2013

Making monetary sense of Panthers' moves

While Panthers owner Jerry Richardson and other team officials have been visiting Raleigh looking for funding for stadium upgrades, general manager Dave Gettleman and the front office have been dealing with their own money matters.

The Panthers have restructured the contracts of two offensive starters – center Ryan Kalil and running back Jonathan Stewart.

Kalil's restructuring, first reported by former Observer reporter Pat Yasinskas of ESPN.com, was written into the contract extension Kalil signed in 2011. It frees up $3.45 million in salary cap space for the cap-squeezed Panthers.

Carolina is still about $10 million over the projected $121 million cap, so there is more work to do. A big piece of the process is the expected release of veteran cornerback Chris Gamble, who has a cap figure of $10.9 million.

Stewart's deal, first reported by Yahoo! Sports, was not reworked for cap purposes: It actually raised his cap figure by a little more than $200,000.

By converting option bonus money into guaranteed base salary, the Panthers demonstrated more evidence that they plan to stick with the younger Stewart and cast further doubt on franchise rushing leader DeAngelo Williams' future with the team.

The Panthers still have $9.6 million in pro-rated bonus money tied up in Williams. But if they were to designate Williams as a June 1 cut, they could split that over the next two years.

The $3.2 million hit this year would create $5 million in cap savings.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on February 15, 2013 at 01:33 PM | Permalink


There's no doubt D. Will is the better RB.

Posted by: STH | Feb 15, 2013 1:49:44 PM

He sure is. And is not as injury prone as Stewart.

Posted by: Fan | Feb 15, 2013 2:00:24 PM

I know DWill is less likely to break the first tackle than JStew, but he is still a good running back. Given that Stewart misses several games a season, I think we need another back who can split carries with him. I was impressed with Tolbert, but I don't think he is as good as DWill.

Posted by: Matt | Feb 15, 2013 2:33:28 PM

Stewart had never missed any games due to injury until this year. I could care less if he's injury prone if he's ready to go when the games count.

Posted by: Thugnificent | Feb 15, 2013 3:06:10 PM

D Will ran with purpose after he was benched in favor of Stewart. Wins at the end of season were because of D Will's aggressive running. He did break the 1st tackle and outran the coverage. Even if Stewbeef gets through a hole he will always be caught from behind. No wonder he was 1st in-line for restructuring becasue he knows no other team will pay him 1/2 the money.
Rivera will now admit he needs the breakaway game changer D Will brings.

Posted by: homer simpson | Feb 15, 2013 3:15:27 PM

Paying big money to a running back, much less two, is foolish. You can find a good back late in any draft. Hurney was really stupid. I still can't believe he sunk so much money into the running back position.

Posted by: James Reed | Feb 15, 2013 3:17:28 PM

It doesn't really matter if D-Will was the better back. The fact of the matter is he will be 29 (I agree he doesn't have he typical tread, but still a factor), he was more easily cut as far as the salary cap than J-Stew, and with Tolbert we just don't NEED three runningbacks making that much money. I agree Williams is better than the other two, but honestly he just isn't worth the cost. It's that simple. If we save 5 million by cutting him, coupled with a 3.4 million dollar savings cutting kahlil we can it Gamble also and be solidly under the salary cap. It is what it is. We can't keep everybody at such high prices.

Posted by: Gb20 | Feb 15, 2013 3:39:53 PM

I meant restructuring Kalil, obviously.

Also don't forget Cam Newtons rookie contract will be due soon as well.

Posted by: Gb20 | Feb 15, 2013 3:41:06 PM

Many on here speak as if Williams is more durable than Stewart. Actually, Stewart has missed less games than Williams the last few years, so that debunks that theory.

Posted by: ktown8 | Feb 15, 2013 4:54:35 PM

I'm surprised Jimmy Clausen's name hasn't been mentioned anywhere. Cut him and then resign him for a much lower figure, if he doesn't get a better offer somewhere else.

Posted by: Panther/Steeler fan | Feb 15, 2013 5:10:33 PM

I don't care which one of DWill or Stew gets cut...you can get decent RBs in the draft fairly easily these days.

Posted by: Likwit | Feb 15, 2013 6:13:54 PM

I think changing Stewarts contact might be a suddle hint to other teams out there that Williams is up for trade. What you thnk?

Posted by: Panthergreat89 | Feb 15, 2013 6:49:02 PM

cutting Clausen wont save any money. Might as well see if he's learned anything over the past two years...could possibly hold down the 2nd qb fort.

Posted by: dusty | Feb 15, 2013 10:57:19 PM

You keep both RB's, in the NFL you need (2) starters now. Gross, CJ, Godfry(sp) should be next to restructure.. There are more then 20+ teams over the cap, since the cap didn't go up as much as teams had hoped this year. A lot of older veterans around the league are being cut or forced to redo contracts. (example - M. Vick, from 10+ million down to a few million)..teams are going to keep the young players over a veteran that maybe has 1 to 2 years left.

Posted by: catsnmbr1fan | Feb 16, 2013 12:36:26 AM

@Panthergreat89 and @James Reed - good RB's this year are going to be hard to come by, and so are WR's and QB's. This draft is loaded with DL, DB's...anybody that drafts WR, RB, QB in the first round is stupid this year.

Posted by: catsnmbr1fan | Feb 16, 2013 12:40:39 AM

I keep hearing "D-Will is 29 years old".
So was Stephen Davis when the Panthers made their Super Bowl run.
Davis had a lot more (and rougher) mileage than D-Will has right now. He gave fine value for his contract.
Ideally, I like to see Williams traded to the Packers. Rogers NEEDS a running game and it would be nice to see D-Will finish his career with a contender.

Posted by: john solis | Feb 16, 2013 12:45:54 AM

They are going to do everything they can to keep DeWill, plus DeWill and Stewie are boys. DeWill will restructure his deal to stay in Carolina, is my prediction.. plus he has plenty of tread on his tires, nearly doubled his career length by splitting carries with Stewie.

Posted by: Shaun NJ | Feb 16, 2013 9:08:00 AM

You know it's an Observer Panthers story when it contains the key phrase "as first reported by [someone else]..."

Posted by: JF | Feb 16, 2013 10:21:20 AM

The only reason anyone thinks cutting either stewart or williams is needed is because they were so underutilized last year. Williams has missed something like 13 games in 7 years right? The talent lost by cutting him vs. The cap hit cleared = you keep him. It's just not big enough of a savings to give up a franchise RB who clearly still has another 2-3 years left in him.

Adrian peterson has like 500 more career carries than williams. Nobody talking about cutting him. Ypc for both? 5.

Chris gamble is definitely a goner. Ron edwards too probably. Linebackers either have to restructure or expect 1 of them traded.

Posted by: charlottean | Feb 17, 2013 4:01:31 AM

If the Panthers don't get cut Gamble and D Williams we'll know that Gettleman is nothing more than Jerry's new puppet and the Panthers will be doomed for years to come

Posted by: Gipp | Feb 17, 2013 1:08:33 PM

It's a serious mistake to place your faith in Stewart handling the bulk of the rushing game over DWill. Stats don't lie, and he ain't built for the long haul.


Posted by: Man Up | Feb 17, 2013 2:36:02 PM

It's a serious mistake to place your faith in Stewart handling the bulk of the rushing game over DWill. Stats don't lie, and he ain't built for the long haul.


Posted by: Man Up | Feb 17, 2013 2:36:03 PM

On D Will and J Stewart, you have to go with Homer above. Stewart can grind yards out and help move drives. But Williams is a true break-away back who can deliver big yards out of the blue--a very demoralizing fact for defenses to deal with.

Posted by: Caliban | Feb 17, 2013 3:22:14 PM

Great report. I wish all the Observer writers were as good as the Person and Bonnell.

Posted by: Panthersguy | Feb 17, 2013 6:19:00 PM

Cuttinjg DWill would not be very smart and should be a last resort...

Posted by: T-Mac | Feb 18, 2013 10:34:19 AM

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