The Carolina Panthers are working to get their payroll under the cap limit.
In another salary cap move that apparently happened earlier this month, the Panthers converted cornerback Chris Gamble’s upcming $10 million roster bonus to a signing bonus, allowing them to pro-rate it and spread it over the next five seasons. It appears that resulted in about $8 million in cap savings for 2009.
This was somewhat unexpected but it does allow the team to save some space for at least a minor run in free agency.
The Panthers have just announced that they’ve released wide receiver D.J. Hackett, offensive lineman Jeremy Bridges and running back Nick Goings.
The three moves saved the Panthers just under $4.5 million on their 2009 salary cap — ($2.375 million savings for Bridges, $1.2825 million for Hackett and $820,000 for Goings).
The status of cornerback Ken Lucas remains uncertain. There has been speculation that he could be released or traded, which would create another $2.375 million in cap space.
The surprise here is the release of veteran Nick Goings. He’s been a steady player and a solid backup. Plus, he’s contributed on special teams. This one is a bit shocking.
It’s also a bit surprising that Bridges was released since he provided some solid depth along the offensive line.