4 remaining Carolina Panthers cap crunches after Damien Wilson release

(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson
(Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images) Shaq Thompson /
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Carolina Panthers
(Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) Shaq Thompson /

Carolina Panthers cut Shaq Thompson

  • Cap savings – $13.16 million

There is a growing belief that Shaq Thompson‘s days with the Carolina Panthers could be at an end. The veteran linebacker performed well last season and is a supreme leadership presence within the locker room, but his $24.46 million salary-cap hit has to come down in some capacity before free agency begins.

Thompson has stated his desire to stay but added taking a pay cut isn’t exactly high on his list of priorities. If some common ground cannot be reached, then the Panthers will part ways with one of the last remaining members of their memorable run to the Super Bowl in 2015.

Losing Thompson, while saving $13.16 million against the team’s 2023 cap, leaves a hole at the defensive second level. Something the Panthers can fix either through free agency or via a talented young recruit from the college ranks.

Having $11.3 million added to the dead-cap total isn’t exactly ideal. But the positives far outweigh the negatives financially in this scenario and if a new, backloaded deal isn’t agreed upon in the coming days, the former Washington stud will hit the market for the first time in his NFL career.

Thompson’s future should become clearer before the legal tampering period. For fans, it’s worth remembering that the NFL is a business before all else, so paying this sum for a consistent but non-elite linebacker is absolutely out of the question.