The Panthers cleared $4.69 million in cap space by restructuring the contract of Matt Paradis. The team converted $7 million of Paradis’ salary into a signing bonus to prorate that money over three years. Of those three years, two are void years. If the Panthers do not come to terms on Paradis on an extension by around the time of next years Super Bowl he will leave them with $8.69 million in dead money charges.
The Panthers were no longer in bad shape with their salary cap following the releases of Kawaan Short ($8.6 million saved), Steven Weatherly, ($5.9 million saved), and Michael Palardy ($1.9 million). Tre Boston was also informed he will be released and it looks as if the team is holding off on that move to make it a June 1 cut. By using a June 1 cut the Panthers will create $3.5 million rather than just under $1 million in cap room over the summer. That is money that can be used to sign rookies after the draft.
Carolina now has around $31 million in estimated salary cap space, 8th most in the NFL. This move, which was not really necessary at this time, likely signals that the Panthers are going to be pretty aggressive in free agency this year. If they wind up restructuring the contracts of Shaq Thompson and/or Christian McCaffrey that would definitely be a strong signal to the NFL that they will be a big player in free agency.