Pat Yasinskas of ESPN has reported that the Panthers have restructured the contract of Center Ryan Kalil to better navigate the 2013 salary cap. Kalil was set to earn an option bonus this year of $5 million dollars to go along with a base salary of $4.75 million and a $250K workout bonus. If the Panthers failed to exercise the option Kalil’s base salary would have risen from $4.75 to $9.75 million dollars. His cap number, if the option was picked up, was $9.850.
Kalil’s base salary was reduced to $750,000 in the restructure with $5 million being given in the form of a signing bonus, as reported by Yasinskas. Yasinskas noted that his new cap figure would be $6.4 million which represents a savings of $3.45 million for the Panthers. For proration purposes the Panthers have added an extra season onto Kalil’s contract in 2017, which is simply going to be a “dummy season” for salary cap purposes. While I do not have confirmation of the actual mechanism used, Kalil either received a $4 million dollar option or fully guaranteed offseason bonus that will be prorated over the remaining 5 years of his contract.
Per rules in the CBA roster and option bonus money can only be recovered in the year that the bonus is awarded in the event a player holds out or commits a similar type of fine worthy offense. Signing bonus money can be attacked at any time. This is most likely why the two sides would simply not have a $9 million dollar signing bonus in the contract as it protects the player’s money from further attack by the team.
The Panthers salary cap is in terrible shape due to a number of bad contracts signed over the past two years that were very favorable towards the players. This is going to be another one. Based on my estimates Kalil will carry a cap charge of over 11 million in 2015 when he turns 30 years old with a dead money charge of $9 million dollars. For a center to have cap charges in 3 consecutive years of over 9.55 million is almost unheard of in the NFL, meaning that the Panthers will likely be forced to renegotiate again in the future with Kalil regardless of his level of play.
To view the new estimates for Kalil simply follow this link to his cap page.