News is popping out about Charles Johnson entering the final year of his six-year 76 million dollar contract. Even more so, CJ will be a 15 million dollar hit against the cap for the Panthers this season. If the Panthers release him, it would save a big 11 million dollars on top of a cap that Gettleman has done a great job of getting the Panthers in a good position since coming to Charlotte. This is 11 million that could be used to bring in an outside edge rusher who has fresher legs or maybe even lock up Josh Norman.
With Kony Ealy's strong finish in the playoffs, Carolina may only need to bring in one other rusher. Johnson was put on short term IR earlier this season with a hamstring issue and didn't produce immediately during his return. Johnson made some plays in the playoffs, but he wasn't dominant either. He certainly would not be worth the cap hit at the age of thirty and coming off a bad season.
Big Money will likely have to take a considerable pay cut or cut ties with the organization. Gettleman has proven he's not afraid to make the right business decision, emphasizing that these decisions need to be made "above the shoulders, not with the heart." It's this ability to make the tough decision and let a big dog walk that helped Carolina to a 15-1 season and Super Bowl appearance. We should let him do his thing and trust him at this point. I for one certainly do.
By Tripp Morgan
Follow him on Twitter @TrippMorgan6