Lots of faces, that have been staples for this team and fan base, could be hitting the road in the coming offseason.
Basically what you need to look at in the following information is Cap Hit vs Dead Money.
If someone has a Cap Hit of 5,000,000 and a Dead Money figure of 2,000,000 you can release that player to gain 3 million in cap space. Surprisingly enough, we have a handful of those guys.
Also with all the redo's some big names will either be signed to new deals with less cash or wearing a new jersey next season.
Cuts/ReDo's that can save Cap.
Cap Hit: 7.1 Million
Dead Money if Cut: 5 Million
Potential savings of 2.1 million in cap space.
Charles "You can see me" Godfrey got a deal that was likely worth more than his play. He makes mistakes, but he is a solid Safety. Depending on how strapped we are for cap and what moves Gett's wants to make, Charles could be on the chopping block. Depending on his season this year, he could also be a good candidate for a "Take less now to keep playing later" contract redo. Especially considering his release in 2015 would over 4 million in cap space.
Cap Hit: 15,000,000
Dead Money: 13,000,000
Potential Savings: of 2 Million in cap space.
Problem here is "Big Money" has been worth every penny since he signed that deal. Minus some late season back issues the guy is as complete a defensive end as we could ask for. He is solid against the run, rushes the passer exceptionally well, and craves Wins as much as anyone on the team. I can't see 2 million in space being worth losing him. He is, IMO, a prime candidate for a restructure. Dude will only be 28 or so come next year. IF he stays on course he can likely produce till he is 33+, we can covert his future base salaries to bonus money and add a couple cheap years to the end of his deal. Keeping him as a Panther (in theory) till he is 33ish, at which time he will be ready to retire wealthy (Holla Chris Gamble) or get snagged up as a rotational guy on another squad.
Greg Olsen is somewhere in this list, but he just had a redo and isn't getting cut so he isn't worth talking about here.
Names that have done redo's that voided the rest of their contracts:
Beason basically said, "I get it Luke is the future" with his most recent contract "redo" He lowered his base salary this season to a flat 1million and voided the rest of his contract. I BELIEVE this will cause 8 million in dead money next season. Which, believe it or not, is actually a savings as his cap hit for 2014 was set to be 10million. I believe Beason wants to start in the middle for a squad, that said, I believe Beason loves this team as well. If he stay healthy and wants to come back at a typical Strong Side LB rate it could be possible. Personally I would take the best cash/opportunity that came to me, but I'm not a 20 something millionare NFL uber athlete either. Where he goes, How he performs this season, and how it all plays out will be very interesting.
Jordan's redo "looks" to be a situation of "You will be cut next season, we'll give you some cash to void all the paper work and make this easy". I don't see where this costs us anything, as his cut next season would have been a wash (or at least thats how it appears). Personally I think Gross could return to the right side of the line for a couple more years, but I could completely understand if he just wants to ride off into the sunset in his "Hog Molly Hauler".
Naka's "redo" was a situation where he can keep some stability for one more season. He voided the last year on his deal so he wouldn't be cut this season. It's not a huge deal, but the guy is solid on ST's. He will be hitting the road next season most likely.
What is both impressive and terrifying is when you look at the up coming free agents for next season. It's a ....fuging long ass list with some names that literally jump off the page. FWIW I think this is 100% in step with Getttleman's plan to retool and rebuild this roster. Redoing bad deals to either become cap friendly later or flat out void, sign young potential and vet leaders to 1 year deals, and restock on draft picks.
Almost all of our secondary
All of the WR's not named Steve Smith
The name that everyone wants to jump to on that list is Greg Hardy and rightfully so. Greg was that nasty DE we have wanted for years, he's athletic, and hungry to improve. Problem we are going to run into here is simply allocation of cap space.
Lets use Chris Long as a comparison. Recently he raked in a 5yr/60million dollar deal with over half of that as a signing bonus. The Rams did something really smart in that deal. They had a good bit of cap space so they puta 18 million cap hit into the 2012. Taking 1/2 of the cap hit in one fell swoop allowed them to set up the deal for redo's or a cut after 2014 to save future space (AKA Front Loading). Where as the Panthers took a balanced approach with Charles Johnson's contract. Spreading the bonus money hits across the length of the contract evenly. Neither are bad ideas, just depends on what you can do when the contract is signed.
This leads us to Hardy. The Panthers are going to have a TON of positions to fill, 7 draft picks (roughly) and limited space. This leads us to have limited options with how a deal with Hardy can be set-up. We could back load a deal, pushing a huge cap to future years and let CJ's deal go down as Hardy's goes up. Even going so far as to cut CJ when it becomes cap friendly and set up Hardy's deal to coincide with that move. That said, this doesn't address the spending of precious cap on one player. To me the two things that will dicatate what happens with Hardy will be 1) the Play of Frank Alexander 2) Hardy's performance and 3) what we might get offered for Hardy in terms of a trade.
You only have to be under the cap by a certain date, in theory we could tag Hardy with the absurd DE franchise tag and move him to a team ready to make a Superbowl run for a handful of picks (1st and 3rd would be sweet).
Thats not me saying I want the guy traded, I'm just saying it's an option. Ultimately I want what is best for the TEAM.
So as rocky a road as 2013 offseason was, the 2014 season should be even more topsy-turvey. Especially when one considers we could also be searching for a new Head Coach and staff.