4 pressing items for Panthers GM Scott Fitterer’s to-do list

(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) Taylor Moton
(Photo by Tim Warner/Getty Images) Taylor Moton /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports) Kawann Short /

Trim the salary-cap

With the salary cap coming down due to COVID-19 revenue losses, the Carolina Panthers won’t have much in the way of disposable income they once thought. Scott Fitterer has some maneuvering to do in pursuit of freeing up more funds and this will result in some big decisions before the frenzied period of free agency.

Perhaps the easiest of these will be Kawann Short. The defensive tackle has endured a torrid time with injuries over the last two years and cutting the veteran Pro Bowler loose would represent a saving of a little more than $11 million if his long association with the franchise comes to an end.

Another prime candidate for an early release is free-agent signing Stephen Weatherly, who just hasn’t lived up to his billing after joining from the Minnesota Vikings last year. Other veteran players such as Matt Paradis, Juston Burris, and Michael Palardy will also be nervously looking over their shoulders, with the impending pay increase of Shaq Thompson another intriguing element to the offseason that shouldn’t be overlooked.

This is a tricky situation and one that Fitterer must handle with care.

The Panthers aren’t in the worst situation in the world compared to other teams across the league. But they will not want to compromise on quality by ridding the roster of players just for the sake of it.