Hayden Hurst - Carolina Panthers TE
- Cap saving - $2.25 million (post-June 1 designation)
- Dead cap - $7.8 million
As previously stated, the Carolina Panthers have some bad contracts to navigate next spring. Restructures, extensions, and signing free agents who haven't performed to the money allocated are going to cause more complications than needed, which is the last thing this front office needs under increased scrutiny.
One player not living up to his billing is Hayden Hurst. The veteran tight end was seen as someone who could finally fill the gaping void left by three-time Pro Bowler Greg Olsen, but it's been a stuttering opening to the campaign for one of the more dependable options in the passing game at the position before he arrived in Carolina.
Something is missing with Hurst and frustrations have shown as a result. The former South Carolina college star was demoted to No. 2 on the tight end depth chart behind Tommy Tremble after the bye week, which is a trend that might continue long into the future as Thomas Brown looks to ignite the spark evident within the one-time Notre Dame stud.
Hurst is a model professional who'll strive to improve his performance levels and help the team. If not, then a situation could emerge where he becomes a trade candidate or perhaps even released early when the time comes.
There's not a lot of financial incentive to remove Hurst from the equation after just one season. That's the bed Carolina made for itself with many established stars - now they must lie in it.