4 ways Carolina Panthers are already winning the 2021 offseason

(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Teddy Bridgewater
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Matt Rhule and Teddy Bridgewater /
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Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Matt Paradis /

Carolina Panthers prepping for free agency

Things were expected to be tight for the Carolina Panthers from a financial standpoint this offseason. The 2021 salary-cap is coming down to $180 million at a minimum, which means NFL teams across the country have to make some substantial sacrifices to comply with the new figure after COVID-19 revenue losses shifted the landscape considerably.

However, the Panthers have now accumulated the eighth-most salary cap space in the league after recent cuts and a re-structure of center Matt Paradis’ contract that saved them almost $5 million.

According to Spotrac, Carolina now has $39.86 million at its disposal. More could even be freed-up with a couple of restructures, trades, or releases in the coming weeks. So the situation looks perhaps more promising than anybody expected.

Scott Fitter and Matt Rhule deserve tremendous credit for this. They know what’s at stake this season and even if they don’t land Deshaun Watson in a trade, they could extend stud right tackle Taylor Moton and still become big players in free agency should the opportunity arise.

Whether it will be enough to keep Curtis Samuel on the books is another matter. But if they re-sign Moton, then a tag and trade scenario regarding the talented wide receiver would give them more in the way of draft capital to bolster their roster.