I've been trying to figure out how we got here. As Scotty in Star Trek once said, "The ship's in pieces and we've got less than a skeleton crew aboard!" That one quote expresses my feelings at the moment.
Before this dead money business ensues, here's a flat definition (in case you were like me and didn't know what it meant.) "Dead Money" is a term that refers to the amount of space consumed by players no longer on the roster, whether they retired, were traded or were released. Whether we owe ex-players money or not, it's still dead money. (I did steal the definition from ESPN.)
Our team currently sits #1 (We're #1!!) on NFL's dead money list, weighing in at $17.8 million. The next best competitor is the Buffalo Bills at $12 million. It doesn't look good and it is a big reason we can't do anything earth-shattering in free agency. Some people blame Gettleman. Some people blame Hurney. Some people blame bad luck. Some blame their spiritual deities (Damn you, Flying Spaghetti Monster!). I believe there's probably guilt to go around the table, but quite frankly, it doesn't matter right now. The Carolina Panthers, and We the Panther fans, will have to endure.
Dead money combined ranks #2 in Panther 2014 cap hits, right behind DE (22.6% of cap) Yuck.
Here's approximated cap hits for 2014 by position. Roman Harper, Mike McNeill, Jason Williams and James Dockery are not included in this. All in all, these figures are close, not perfect, but it should give everyone an idea where all the dough is and where it isn't. Figures and sources listed at the bottom. (If I totally screwed this up, feel free to cast stones at me.)
QB $8.1 million (5.58% of total cap) High figure: Newton - $7 million
RB $11.1 million (8.01% of total cap) High figures: Williams - $6 million, Stewart - $4.6 million
FB $4.1 million (2.96% of total cap) High figure: Tolbert - $3.3 million
WR $2.6 million (1.94% of total cap) High figure: Pilares - $699,000
TE $8.7 million (6.34% of total cap) High figure: Olsen - $7.8 million
C $7.7 million (5.61% of total cap) High figure: Kalil - $7.3 million
G $4.7 million (3.45% of total cap) High figure: Silatolu - $1.3 million
RT $2.1 million (1.58% of total cap) High figure: Bell - $2.1 million
LT $540,000 (0.39% of total cap) High figure: Chandler - $540,000
DE $31.3 million (22.62% of total cap) High figures: Johnson - $16.4 million, Hardy - $13.1 million
DT $5.2 million (3.79% of total cap) High figures: Lotulelei - $2.1 million, Edwards - $2 million
OLB $4 million (2.93% of total cap) High figure: Davis - $3.5 million
ILB $5.5 million (4.01% of total cap) High figure: Kuechly - $3.4 million
S $8.7 million (6.3% of total cap) High figure: Godfrey - $7.1 million
CB $2.2 million (1.64% of total cap) High figure: Thomas - $660,000
P $589,000 (0.43% of total cap) High figure: Nortman - $589,000
K $1.7 million (1.26% of total cap) High figure: Gano - $1.7 million
LS $980,000 (0.71% of total cap) High figure: Jansen - $980,000
Dead $ $17.8 million (13.4% of total cap) High figure: Beason - $8 million
In the end, our 2014 cap is pretty jacked. It sucks and I worry. I won't abandon the team I've hung onto throughout it's short teenage life. I'll hope for the best and prepare for the worst. I, still, would not want to be this GM though.
Sources: All math crap (don't blame me if it only adds up to 93%) provided by Spotrac.com. Other sources: NFLPA, RotoWorld and OvertheCap.
Check this link: Carolina Panthers Cap Hit