An NFL Salary Cap increase could beneficial to the cap hungry Carolina Panthers.
The NFL Salary Cap will be taking a jump next season. According to reports from Adam Schefter of ESPN, the NFL will raise the salary cap from $143 million to somewhere around $153 million. That is a ten million dollar increase in the cap. The Carolina Panthers will be one of the teams helped the most by this cap increase.
The Panthers are about $5 million under the cap right now. The extensions of Cam Newton and Luke Kuechly begin to kick in next year. That five million in space will disappear quickly. An extra ten million in space could be a gift from the gods considering only the players who are about to become free agents.
Number one on that list is Josh Norman. Norman will be looking to be paid as a team’s number one cornerback. He’s still being paid third round pick money. By comparison, Byron Maxwell –the number two cornerback of the Seahawks- signed a six year sixty-three million dollar deal to become the number one corner for the Philadelphia Eagles. If Norman were to resign with the Panthers, a similar contract would eat the cap increase by itself.
Much of Maxwell’s contract is back loaded into future seasons, so the initial cap hits are more manageable. The Panthers might be able to do something similar with a Norman deal to add a little flexibility to next year’s cap.
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Other key members of the Panthers about to be free agents include Mike Tolbert, Roman Harper, Mike Remmers, and Charles Tillman. Remmers would certainly want a raise from the near minimum contract he has been playing on the past two years.
The Panthers will value any extra juggling room that the NFL gives them. They have worked hard to lock down Newton and Kuechly. Now they have to find money to pay other pieces. Kawann Short and Star Lotulelei are coming up soon. Will the Panthers decide Norman one of those pieces?
The Carolina Panthers play New Orleans this Sunday at the Superdome.