As of now, the Panthers 2012 salary cap number stands at $124 million, 3rd highest in the NFL. At this time it's unknown what the 2012 salary cap will be, but $124 million is very close to what the 2011 salary cap max is, so they may not have much cap room to go free agent shoping.
The 2 teams with higher 2012 salaries than the Panthers are the Steelers at $141.7 million, and the Raiders at $136 million. In the division, the Staints are at $106 million, Bucs at $91.533 million, and Falcons at $89.3 million. The Bengals have the lowest 2012 salary total on the books at $71.2 million.
With the Panthers likely to have little salary cap room in 2012, perhaps the Panthers should try top sign some talent for next season before the end of this season. The Patriots cut 2nd year WR Taylor Price (6-0 3/8, 204, 4.41-40) today, who was the #90 pick in the 2010 draft (the pick behind Armanti Edwards, the #89 pick). Price has only been active for 4 of his 27 games with the Patriots, but that's partly due untimely injuries. Price was set to get more playing time a few weeks ago, but pulled a hamstring just before the next game. So, if the Panthers were to claim him off waivers, then they could probably turn around and put him on IR if they want. Price has more talent than any WR they might pick after the 3rd round, and on his rookie contract will be cheaper than any free agent WR. Perhaps the Panthers could also sign (at least to the Practice Squad, they now only have 3 S's on their 53 man roster) S/CB Akwasi Owusu-Ansah (6-0 1/4, 207, a Combine 4.47-40, a Pro Day 4.30-40), the Cowboys #126 pick (4th round) in the 2010 draft as well.