The Carolina Panthers just threw some serious coin at defensive end Greg Hardy and they’ll be needing to the same in the very near future to quarterback Cam Newton who is in line for a fat extension. In addition to paying Newton, the Panthers need to kind long-term money for linebacker Luke Kuechly as well as the recently tagged Hardy.
But while the Panthers are in a bit of a cap crunch, they won’t be cutting veteran wideout Steve Smith to save cash. According to ESPN.com Panthers blogger David Newton, cutting Smith to save cap space really doesn’t make any sense since he’s not that big a hit against the books.
Financially, it makes little sense. If Carolina releases Smith it would owe him about $5 million in guaranteed money and would take a $2 million hit in the salary cap.The team also would take a substantial hit in 2015 the way the deal is structured.
Newton continued to say that the issue of cutting Smith would be more weighted towards whether or not he’s an issue in the locker room if he’s not the No. 1 receiver.
Given that Smith is a staple with the Panthers and the greatest receiver to ever play for the franchise, it’d be understandable if he was miffed but unlikely that he becomes such a big problem that he’s released.