According to a report by Pro Football Talk, the Carolina Panthers are nearly $1 million over the $120 million salary cap imposed by the NFL. The figure is not surprising when one considers all of the signings that the Panthers have made since free agency opened last week. However, the Panthers can easily get under the cap and even put themselves in a position to sign even more players.
Ryan Kalil will be making around $10 million in 2011 due to being designated as the Carolina franchise player. If Kalil could sign an extension, which is most assuredly going to happen, Carolina could wind up saving millions on their 2011 cap which would enable them to add more players.
It would also be smart for the Panthers to possibly look into re-structuring the 2011 contracts of Steve Smith ($7 million), Chris Gamble ($6.2 million), Travelle Wharton ($5.4 million), and Jason Baker ($1.4 million) by converting salary into possible bonuses.
It seems to me that the Panthers still need another starting cornerback, another veteran defensive tackle, and at least one more offensive lineman for depth purposes. To make those moves, Carolina needs to first get under the salary cap.