AP Writer Steve Reed: “Pretty Soon, Next Year, The Panthers Will Have To Start Thinking About Restructuring Cam Newton’s Contract”

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Bustin’ Loose 3-12-13 Steve Reed: The Panthers will have to look at restructuring Cam Newtons contract soon.  Steve talks about the Panthers salary cap problems.  Who is going to play left tackle next year for the Panthers?

Although the Panthers aren’t expected to be incredibly active in free agency, they did make a move, but releasing Linebacker James Anderson, in an effort to save some cap space to prepare for the impending free agency period.

“They are under cap at this point, and this was a curious move; more of a long-term move… That way, Dave Gettleman can kind of put his own fingerprints on this team, because if they want to change things up and make some moves they’ve got to get rid of some cap space.”

After Chris Gamble was cut by the Panthers, he suddenly announced his retirement, surprising a lot of people, to include Steve Reed.

“I figured he was going to get some calls. There’s no doubt about it… I think the guy can still play, but obviously he didn’t think so, or he was just ready to cash it in and said I’ve had enough.”

A lot of trades have been occurring, leading up to today’s free agency starting point, but are there any deals in store for the Panthers?

“I think it’s going to be awful tough. If you’re talking about DeAngelo Williams, I don’t see anyone willing to take on that contract… for a running back who is 30 years old. It’s not really good business.”

There’s a lot of frustration in Panthers’ nation with the lack of weapons for Cam Newton due to the large number of bad contracts all around the team, so what is the solution?

“Pretty soon, next year, you’re gonna have to start thinking about restructuring Cam’s contract, and that is going to be a monster deal. Because if you don’t pay him, guess what, somebody will.”

Dave Gettleman was thankful for being hired on as Panthers GM, but he inherited quite a mess. What does Gettleman need to do with this franchise?

“You’ve got to look longterm. Right now, his hands are tied under the cap… He’s gotta find ways to free up money. They locked up so much money in that Summer of 2011, coming off of the NFL lockout. It’s just left them strapped. So much money was given out in signing bonuses and there’s nothing you can do about singing bonuses. You have to pay that money.”

Lastly, there’s been a lot of speculation regarding Jordan Gross’ future with the Panthers, so what will end up happening with their Left Tackle?

“You’re talking about Cam’s blind side. You talk about protecting your huge investment… I think he’s been a pretty darn steady left tackle in this league, and a pretty good one. And, if you go in the draft, you run the risk, in one bad play, of potentially losing your quarterback to injury.”

Thanks again to Steve Reed for stopping by. You can follow Steve on Twittter @SteveReedAP.

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