The Carolina Panthers were set to ship Ken Lucas to the Lions. He said no, thank you.
Cornerback Ken Lucas’ future with the Carolina Panthers remained uncertain late Thursday after he declined an opportunity to be traded to the Detroit Lions.
The trading deadline, along with the free agency signing period, officially opened at 12:01a.m. today and it was uncertain whether the Panthers could find another trade suitor for Lucas and, if not, whether they would release him.
Neither Lucas, 30, nor his agent could be reached for comment.
I can’t say I blame the guy. Who wants to play for the Lions? I doubt the guys who are there want to be there.
If the Panthers part ways with Lucas, they would save $2.375million under the salary cap. He would still count more than $8million because of bonuses previously earned.
Lucas apparently wasn’t willing to rework his contract to enable the trade to Detroit, which became the first team in history to go 0-16 last season.
Either way, Lucas is gone. That writing is on the wall and the money will be knocked off the salary cap.
There is other news after the jump.
Damione Lewis was signed to a new contract through 2014.
Lewis was due a $2.5 million roster bonus, which the Panthers already had the contractual right to convert into a signing bonus in order to pro-rate it over future years.
Lewis’ contract was scheduled to expire after the 2010 season, but has been extended to 2014.
Since Lewis turns 31 on March 1, it’s highly unlikely he’ll play that long, but the length of the deal allows the Panthers to spread out the guaranteed portion of the contract to make it more cap friendly in the early years.
Lewis’ base salary was reduced next season from $3.17 million to $2 million and from $4.05 million to $755,000 in 2010. His bases are $1.485 million in 2011, $2.115 million in 2012, $2.745 million in 2013 and $3.375 million in 2014.
Let’s hope this improves the interior play for next season on that defensive line.
- The Panthers extended a second-round tender ($1.545 million) to restricted free agent TE Jeff King. He’s safe at this level. Carolina seemed to sour on King last offseason, but he held off Dante Rosario to start and is more of an asset on early downs.
- The Panthers extended a low restricted free agent tender ($1.01 million) to OLB James Anderson. Anderson has done nothing to disprove that he was a major reach in the ’06 third round. The Virginia Tech alum will be on the roster bubble this summer.
- Panthers NT Ma’ake Kemoeatu agreed to lower his 2009 salary to save Carolina room under the cap. He’ll make the same amount, but got $1.5M up front in a “signing” bonus that will be prorated through 2014. Kemoeatu finished last season with only 36 tackles. His main role is to take on blockers in Carolina’s scheme.
- The Panthers did not extend a tender offer to restricted free agent DT Gary Gibson, making him an unrestricted free agent. Gibson could still be back at less than the $1.01 million low tender. The former undrafted free agent posted nine tackles in 11 appearances last year.
- Free agent OL Geoff Hangartner will visit the Bills on Friday, according to NFL Network’s Adam Schefter. Buffalo will view Hangartner as a starter, something the Panthers weren’t willing to do. Hangartner, who turns 27 in April, can play guard and center.