Panthers running back DeAngelo Williams is due about $5 million in salary next season and will count $8.2 million against the salary cap. For a team such as Carolina that is already close to $10 million over the cap, Williams appears to be just too expensive to keep.
Or maybe not.
The Charlotte Observer reported Saturday that the Panthers believe they "can retain Williams at his current numbers." A source with knowledge of the situation told the Observer that contract restructuring is possible, but also that the Panthers "want to keep their highly paid backfield tandem intact."
When asked earlier this week if the team could afford to keep both Williams and Jonathan Stewart , general manager Dave Gettleman said: "Can we keep both of them? Again, decisions have to be made. I don't see why not."
The downside of cutting Williams is that it would leave about $6 million of "dead money" on the team's payroll for 2014. So, perhaps bringing him back on a new, cheaper deal would be the best scenario for the Panthers, especially since Stewart underwent surgery on both ankles last month. And let us not forget that Mike Tolbert is still here, too. Williams will turn 30 in April, and he is coming off a brutal 2012 in which he saw his yards per carry average drop from 5.4 to 3.5 in one year. I want no part of him, especially if he remains in that crowded Carolina backfield.