The Panthers owe Kuechly nothing. However, his decision to walk away will result in $11.845 million hitting the cap in 2020.
Kuechly walks away from $10.3 million in 2020 salary, and he’ll owe the team no repayment because his signing bonus proration expired in 2019.
The Panthers, once they move Kuechly to the reserve/retired list, will hold his rights in the event he decides to return. If the Panthers ever release Kuechly from the reserve/retired list, he’ll become a free agent.
The retirement gives the Panthers an immediate hole to fill in the center of their defense, as they commence a new era under coach Matt Rhule.