A league source told ESPN.com that Davis’ deal has been restructured to free up $3.8 million in salary-cap space. The Panthers chose not to exercise an $8 million option bonus that was due later this week.
The bonus was put in as a safeguard when Davis signed a new contract last summer. He suffered his third injury early last season. Davis’ cap figure for 2012 is now a comfortable $2.1 million.
In addition to not getting the bonus, Davis took a cut in base salary from $2.25 million to $700,000 for this season. But Davis can recoup some of the money later in the contract that runs through 2015.
He has a $500,000 option bonus in 2013 and a $2.5 million second option in 2014. His new base salaries rise steadily each season. If he’s still with the team in 2015, his base salary will be $7.25 million.
Now that the Panthers have that out of the way they can focus on restructuring other players to get even more cap space, and once they have more cap room they can sit back and wait on some of the mid-tier free agents to be available after the first few days of frenzy are over and other teams have thrown all their money at the top-tier players (e.g. - Mario Williams and Vincent Jackson).
Stay tuned to CSR for any other breaking stories related to player transactions.
Hat tip to Matt Chantry and Oi2dwrld for posting fanshots that led to this story.