For those of you curious about the future implications of Gross' restructuring today, it really does more than just give the Panthers cap space this year; it frees up a lot of space next year as well.
Jordan Gross' contract for next season represented the fattiest piece of bacon that could be sliced off to save Carolina some cap space next year. Because it was the last year of his contract, the Panthers would have been eating his $3M bonus regardless of whether he played in Carolina or not. That means that his entire salary could be saved for cutting him - a whopping $6.7M - if the Panthers had cut him next year.
Because Carolina made this move early, they shaved off even more. With the terms of his new contract now known, in 2014 he will only have a cap hit of about $2.9 million whereas the old contract, he had a cap mammoth hit of nearly $10 million. That's more than $7 million in savings from this deal for 2014.
Restructuring Gross frees Carolina's books up immensely. As it stands by my count, the Panthers have only $116 million committed to the 2014 salary cap, which looks to be in the $126 to $129 million range. Compare that to the $123 million figure we were looking at before and it's easy to see just how beneficial this move was for the Panthers. It doesn't solve all of Carolina's problems, but it relieves a lot of pressure and does nothing but give the organization more options next year by ensuring they have more money to play with.