Here’s something to help put the Panther cap space into perspective (note: these calculations have the cap at $7,263,215)
In cap, you only count the top 51 cap hits. Right now at the bottom of the list is FB Michael Zordich with a cap hit of 421k. As we add players like Derek Anderson back to the roster (assuming), he’ll only count 570k towards the cap (he’ll get paid 855k but we get the minimum salary benefit that takes 285k off his cap hit).
When you add Derek to the roster for 570k, it kicks Michael Zordich’s 421k salary out of the top 51. Signing Derek adds a SMALL cap hit of 149k. Colin Cole, Garry Williams, Chris Scott, Ben Hartsock, Jordan Senn, Richie Brockel, Jeff Byers, James Dockery, Jason Williams could all fall into this category of the minimum salary benefit (not a sure thing, but you get the point).
The point i’m making is that as we add contracts we also gain money.
Same goes for the draft. As we add 7 new contracts, we no longer count the 7 bottom contracts they would replace (6 and 7 round might be the 52nd and 53rd contract, but the $ diff is tiny). The money needed for the 7 drafted players is 4.457M (OTC proj.). Money gained as the 7 bottom contracts fall out of top 51 is 3.055M. That means we only need 1.402M in new cap space to sign this year’s draft.
You really can’t say if we sign someone to a $1M contract, we lost $1M in cap. Just keep that in mind as the Panthers add contracts; the money isn’t running out as quickly as you would think.