Here's One Off Base Rant: Cut Williams

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Would you agree with a ranter that says we should cut RB DeAngelo Williams in a cost cutting move? If so I hope you have a better justification than this guy.

First he points to the low rushing totals Williams put up, a fair point:

DeAngelo Williams: Carolina Panthers Need To Cut RB
Last year Williams had an average year by running back standards with 843 rushing yards rushing and catching a few balls out of the backfield. However, he only managed to find the end zone a few times, averaged 4.3 yards a carry and never really established himself as a threat.

Not a threat? Not a Threat! He's scored 46 TDs in his career, most from 20+ yards out. He scored from 43 yards out against the Saints to help clinch the NFC South. I will add Trent Richardson would take 4.3 yards per carry all season long. Yes Williams gets his share of tackles for loss or stoned at the line but he remains a threat to take it to the house every time he touches the ball.

The author does scratch the surface of the truth in an off hand manner, the biggest mistake in this whole piece:

While it is true that those lackluster numbers are not just a reflection of Williams and are a reflection of a poor running game, right now the Panthers have many more reasons to cut Williams than to keep him.

While I agree its a reflection of a struggling offensive line I'm now curious to hear your justification for still thinking he should be cut.

The first, and most important, reason that Williams should be cut is the money. The Panthers need to find ways to free up salary cap space to bring back the big names on their roster. Williams’ current cap number is $6 million which is way more money that his last year’s performance deserved. If the Panthers were to let Williams go, they would free up an extra $2 million in cap space.

It's cliche these days to say a player isn't worth their cap number and so they should just be cut. I'll assume the author was unaware of the just announced contract restructurings for Stewart and Kalil. Even so what's the plan for that $2M compared to a total cap of $130M? But I'll play along. So what do we do at RB in this scenario?

Not only that, but it is not as if Carolina is lacking in the running back department. The Panthers also have Mike Tolbert and Jonathan Stewart on their roster, and both are also under contract. While neither of those running backs had particularly impressive years either, the fact that the Panthers have options should make cutting Williams an easy choice.

Wait a minute. Mike Tolbert does not provide the role Williams does, period. As far as Stewart, I would like to think he could be a 20-25 carry starter. But can he be that guy come week 1 in 2014? That is one huge leap of faith for a guy that missed 10 games last season.

Kenjon Barner is another option I guess if you trust unproven rookies who had trouble holding the ball last preseason. He is a break away threat for sure though we don't know if he can withstand the pounding of a starting RB. Williams on the other hand not only averaged 4.3 yards per carry (I see that number as a positive) but caught 26 balls for a career high 333 yards receiving bringing his combined yardage to 1,176.

So the net result of this 'easy choice' to cut Williams: Eat $4M via dead money to save $2M (1.5% of the cap) in cap space while also still needing to find a reliable break away threat at RB. It's a break even proposition at best. At worst it's trying to fix something that is not broken and ending up way worse off than if you had just paid the $6M. Williams fits the offense and if given a decent line in front of him can average 5 yards per carry once again.

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