Panthers now rank No. 7 in projected 2021 salary cap space

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Tim Weaver
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About a month ago, the Carolina Panthers did not have much salary cap room to work with for 2021. Thanks to some slick money moves by general manager Scott Fitterer in his first few weeks on the job, they now rank among the league’s leaders in projected cap space for this year.

We weren’t crazy about the decision to release free safety Tre Boston, which opened up a big roster hole and only saved around $3.55 million for the year. The rest of Fitterer’s early moves have hit all the right notes, though. Cutting Kawann Short shaved off a significant $8.6 million cap hit. They also let Michael Palardy, Stephen Weatherly, Woodrow Hamilton and Natrell Jamerson go, adding to the pile.

The shrewdest move thus far was a restructured contract for starting center Matt Paradis. Carolina converted around $7 million of Paradis’ roughly $8 million in base salary for this year into a signing bonus, creating another $4.69 million in cap room.

Now the Panthers’ financial outlook for 2021 looks much better. According to Spotrac, they have just under $40 million available, or $39,983,683 to be exact. Some estimates have them closer to $35-$36 million. We assume the discrepancy is that Spotrac is including the rollover amount from 2020. For the Panthers, they’re getting an extra $4.27 million.

That $39.98M figure is the seventh-largest in the NFL at the moment. Only the Jaguars, Jets, Patriots, Colts, Bengals and the Washington Football Team have more.

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