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February 20, 2014

Gettleman still piecing together Hardy puzzle

INDIANAPOLIS

Dave Gettleman didn’t tip his hand as to whether Greg Hardy will return as a Panther in 2014, and a slightly larger salary cap may not even factor into the decision.

The Carolina Panthers general manager reiterated Thursday that Hardy, who tied a team record with 15 sacks last season, is part of the Panthers puzzle that includes 21 unrestricted free agents.

“Well basically right now we’re talking to agents. He’s part of the puzzle. We’re cap-challenged,” said Gettleman when asked about the defensive end. “Last year we started we were quite a bit over. We had to do some maneuvering to get under before the first day of the league year. The progress we’ve made this year is we don’t have to do any of that. But that doesn’t mean we’re sitting here with $35 million under the cap. So if you always go for the immediate instant gratification, you’re going to get burned.”

Should the salary cap go up to its reported $130 million, the Panthers would have $19.6 million in cap space. The cap was expected to be $126.3 million, but recent projections have pushed that number to $130 million.

The instant gratification Gettleman is referring to is either signing Hardy to a significant long-term deal or using the franchise tag, which would be approximately $12.5 million—nearly two-thirds of the team’s available cap space.

“What we have to do is be very thoughtful in planning our cap, planning our strategy, planning our budget,” Gettleman said. “What you’re looking for is sustained success. That’s what you want. You don’t want to jump up, have a great year and for the next two years you’re floundering around. There’s only two teams in this league that have had winning seasons four years in a row—New England and Green Bay, and Green Bay was 8-7-1 this year. That’s what our goal is.”

Gettleman did not discount the bump in the cap, saying that “every penny helps.” But he said frankly he doesn’t expect the team to use all of its available cap space so the team can roll over cap room in the future and get itself out of being cap-challenged more quickly.

--Jonathan Jones

Posted by Observer Sports on February 20, 2014 at 04:31 PM | Permalink

Comments

where is Julius Peppers?

Posted by: Jerry Richardson | Feb 20, 2014 5:00:28 PM

I like what Gettleman has done so far in his tenure but he is a fool if he does not find a way to keep Hardy.

Posted by: James Reed | Feb 20, 2014 5:07:02 PM

What is foolish is thinking the answer to WR is on the roster. Need to get Cam weapons.

Posted by: jbw | Feb 20, 2014 5:12:27 PM

Challenges surely ahead for the Carolina Panthers. A draft full of great talent and a lot a free agents. Keeping a lot of key players and a supporting cast will greatly contribute to another division championship leading to a SuperBowl. Hardy,one of the key components,must continue to be a leading force with the Carolina Panthers. Think about how the defense folded once Peppers went to Chicago. Having him on the market for teams like Atlanta or New Orleans,in the division, would lessen Carolina's chances. Think about what happened when Julius Peppers departed to Chicago. The bottom line is Re-sign your production workers and work on a well known ( healthy free agent) "hands" receiver, draft another running back and a offensive tackle, find a well known name "head-hunter" corner and safety for your secondary. #KEEPPOUNDINGCATS!

Posted by: Kurtis Joyner | Feb 20, 2014 6:06:33 PM

Honestly I'm not worried about Hardy. If he walks That's fine. I don't give him all the credit everyone seems to give him. He's a freak for sure, but so is the ENTIRE D line. I give his great years credit to having an amazing cast of defensive tackles that Gettleman drafted. Johnson will be 100% next year, and the Star and Short are only going to be better after their rookie year success. What I guess I'm saying is Addison and Alexander played well while Johnson went down. So..... Pretty much speaks for itself. We get some good receivers and keep Mitchell and Munnerlyn while addressing the O Line and corners through free agency and a draft stacked w talent I feel we will be fine.

Posted by: Dustin | Feb 20, 2014 11:29:48 PM

Ok...based off of the interview he gave today, I can see 2 things Gettleman can be planning on doing that would make me absolutely livid! 1st being cutting Smitty...like, don't even think about it! 2nd is not going after a WR in FA. That comment about the answer possibly already bein on our roster completely blew me!
Also I honestly believe that the best thing to do at this point, although it would hurt so very much, is let go of Hardy. Keeping him is just doesn't make any sense w/ our cap situation. & even if he can't be replaced I think drafting a shutdown corner could balance out the defense & eliminate prt of our secondary issue.

Posted by: NflfanGirl19 | Feb 21, 2014 12:24:21 AM

I have to agree with the last comment. I don't see how the Panthers can afford Hardy. He wants too much money. He is a really good player, but he wants a contract like Charles Johnson, and I don't think he is worth that kind of money. The Panthers have to many other needs in particular at the wide receiver position where they are now admitting that last year they essentially played without a number one receiver.

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 23, 2014 8:32:14 AM

I have to agree with the last comment. I don't see how the Panthers can afford Hardy. He wants too much money. He is a really good player, but he wants a contract like Charles Johnson, and I don't think he is worth that kind of money. The Panthers have to many other needs in particular at the wide receiver position where they are now admitting that last year they essentially played without a number one receiver.

Posted by: Daniel | Feb 23, 2014 8:32:15 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

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