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February 20, 2014

Gettleman: Gross still mulling his future

INDIANAPOLIS

While the Panthers' brain trust huddles in Indy at the scouting combine, one of the biggest "parts of the puzzle" general manager Dave Gettleman keeps mentioning is in Idaho with his family.

Veteran left tackle Jordan Gross is skiing in his native state and, presumably, trying to figure out if he wants to continue playing football.

Gettleman said he's had two lengthy conversations with Gross about his future, and will talk with him again when Gross returns from Idaho late this week or early next.

Gross, 33, who has played all of his 11 seasons with the Panthers, agreed to restructure his contract last offseason to help the team with its salary cap situation. The contract automatically voided two weeks ago, leaving Gross as a pending free agent.

Gross, who went to his third Pro Bowl this year, has said he would play for the Panthers or not at all.

"He's mulling it over in his mind," Gettleman said Thursday at the combine. "It's a huge decision. Any of us, any of you when it comes time for you to lay it down, it's a big decision."

Gettleman said Gross has "earned the right" to decide his own fate, but added there are salary cap ramifications if Gross decides to keep playing.

"We're cap-challenged," Gettleman said. "Obviously, he had a solid year. He's been a great Panther. We'll talk to him and move forward."

Gettleman also was asked about the future of 34-year-old receiver Steve Smith. Gettleman said Smith is "part of the evaluation process," but later added he hasn't had any retirement conversations with Smith as he has with Gross.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on February 20, 2014 at 04:19 PM | Permalink

Comments

A true Carolina Panther. Gross has been through the good and the bad. Never holding his head down. Protecting the QB and opening holds for numerous running backs. Jordon Gross is family. Keep the core and restructure as you must with others to ensure a returning division championship and more. Draft a OT to train not to replace JG. When he's ready to retire everyone will be prepared. Plus, a SuperBowl appearance for 2015 looks promising. "#KEEPPOUNDINGCATS!"

Posted by: Kurtis Joyner | Feb 20, 2014 6:19:42 PM

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