Wednesday, February 13, 2013
What to do with Panthers RBs
By Tom Carpenter
There is little sense in looking backward and wondering why on earth the Carolina Panthers inked DeAngelo Williams to a huge contract in 2011 and followed that up by inking backfield mate Jonathan Stewart to a huge contract last summer. Former general manager Marty Hurner did the deals, and perhaps that's part of the reason why he is the "former" GM. What matters now is that new GM Dave Gettleman has his hands full with salary-cap issues that begin in his backfield.
ESPN NFC South blogger Pat Yasinskas believes that Williams offers more to the team on the field, because "he’s a better all-around running back and he doesn't have Stewart’s history of injuries." However, finances may rule the day in the Panthers backfield, and while the team could restructure the contracts for Williams and Stewart, Yasinskas thinks they would be better off cutting Williams:
Pat YasinskasStewart or Williams in Carolina?
"[T]he contract the Panthers handed Stewart last summer makes it virtually impossible to cut him – at least if the Panthers want any financial gain. They’d take an immediate $7 million cap hit if they released Stewart, who is scheduled to count $3.015 million against the 2013 cap. That’s largely because Stewart’s base salary is guaranteed for each of the next three seasons and only one year of his pro-rated money has been eaten up. Releasing Williams, whose contract runs through 2015, might be the more practical way to go. Williams is carrying an $8.2 million cap figure for 2013. If the Panthers release him and designate him as a June 1 cut (and spread his hit out over this year and next) they immediately would clear $3.4 million in cap space for 2013."