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It was reported over the weekend that the Panthers have made an offer to Jordan Gross' agent on a contract restructuring that will lower his current cap hit. The difference with this offer as compared to most of the other player restructurings we have seen this offseason is it supposedly is an outright pay cut.
That might be why we have yet to see an agreement reached. Even so, Gross does not seem turned off by the notion and instead is maintaining his typical 'consummate team player' posture we have come to expect from the 10 year Pro:
Carolina Panthers ask Jordan Gross to restructure contract | CharlotteObserver.com
"I’ve given 10 years to the Panthers and the Panthers have given 10 years to me. And nobody wants this organization to win more than I do," Gross said. "I’d love to be a part of the equation for success in 2013. This is just something that has to get worked out."
So the question is obvious: Will Jordan Gross accept a pay cut?
We could argue both sides and make good points. On the pay cut side, Gross is aging (32) and is probably looking for his final NFL contract. Though his performance hasn't really dropped off much so far is will soon enough so the Panthers need to be careful in how they put the deal together. If they were assured of getting a talented LT in the draft or free agency for less money it might make it easier to let him go. But neither of those options seem viable so I'm not sure how they can convince him he should take a pay cut.
In Gross' favor for one is his durability, having started at least 15 games in 9 of his 10 seasons with only the broken leg in 2009 sidelining him significantly. He is still a very productive left tackle using Rivera's words and is a locker room leader. As already mentioned, we have no one currently on the roster that could step in and match his play. So it doesn't look good for the Panthers as far as getting Gross to play for less money overall.
My current thought is the Panthers do rework his deal, adding two more seasons but it doesn't end up being a pay cut and instead spreads his guaranteed money over more seasons. I'm not contract guru so it's just a guess on my part. If they should somehow get Gross to take a cut, then it might be another sign the Panthers' hiring of Dave Gettleman was a very good move.