Ranking The NFC South Team's Cap Space, Worst To First

The Panthers have roughly $28M in cap space heading into Free Agency.  It has been a long time since that was the case.  But I think you will see that the Panthers will use or hold that money with the idea of spending it on their own.  I think it is interesting to compare the Panthers cap situation with the other teams in the NFC South.  The Panthers are in the best shape that they have been in since 2011.  But are they in the best shape?   Here’s a list of the team’s cap situations from worst to first and this information is largely courtesy of our friends at overthecap.com.



Wow, this team is in a predicament.  They are spending pretty much the same amount of money in active spending right now as the Panthers are ($121M for the Saints vs $122M for the Panthers), yet they have an aging QB with a $30M cap number, only $10M in cap space and $24M in dead money.  Yikes that is ugly.  Mickey Loomis has been the GM for 15 years.  I think I’d look elsewhere if I owned that team.



This team has the most cap room with $49M in cap space and only $390K in dead money.  On the surface this looks like a great situation.  But the reality is this team is very light on talent and their QB is on a rookie contract.  So for long term stability, this franchise has a long ways to go.  However, I do think they are trending in the right direction.  Let’s see if they can change recent history where they win the Free Agency headlines only to lose in the regular season.



This team is actually in pretty good shape.  They have their QB under contract and have $30M in cap space.  The only reason they aren’t in first in the NFC South in terms of cap-rankings is they have a long ways to go in terms of talent on that Defense.  Their Offense is solid, but they need help on D in the worst way.  Let’s see what they do moving forward



What a difference two years makes.  The Panthers now have $28M in cap room while having the League’s MVP and the best Middle Linebacker under long term contracts.  Their cap space looks to get better over the next couple of seasons too, as Ryan Kalil’s contract starts to decrease and the $8M in dead money goes away.  One word of caution is the Panthers had 10 Pro Bowlers last season and in today’s cap era, it is hard to keep that much talent on the roster.  Trai Turner, KK Short, Star Lotulelei, Andrew Norwell, Kelvin Benjamin and Kurt Coleman are all players that will need new contracts over the next couple of years.  But the Panthers definitely have the best situation in the NFC South.

And in Summary, the number of dollars available under the cap is not the only determining factor in which team is better off.  The talent under contract is equally important.  The Saints are a mess and the rest of the NFC South is is pretty good shape.  But from where I sit, the Cats are in the best position moving forward.   Thank you Dave Gettleman!

Posted By:  Mel Mayock

AKA @PanthersDrafter