Looking at the Panthers' Dead Money

A full view of how much dead weight the Panthers are carrying.
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The Carolina Panthers have made several moves this offseason and unfortunately, some of those moves cost money. Today, we look at how much money the Panthers have tied up in dead money. For those unfamiliar with the term "dead money", it is money that a team is still paying a player although they're no longer on the team's roster. Dead money can happen in a variety of ways: a release, a trade, retirement, etc. 

Note: All dead money data pulled from OverTheCap.com.

QB Teddy Bridgewater - $17 million

After just one year as the Panthers' starting QB, Teddy Bridgewater was shipped off to Denver for a 6th round pick. Bridgewater had an average season but really struggled in crucial situations such as the red zone, 3rd downs, and the 2-minute offense. Carolina lost eight games by one score in 2020 and many of those games they lost with the ball in their hands. A move was needed at the QB spot which is why they went out and acquired Sam Darnold. 

DT Kawann Short - $11 million

Short was a key cog on the Panthers' defense for years but back-to-back season-ending shoulder injuries put an end to his time in Charlotte. The Panthers didn't want to continue paying someone who couldn't stay on the field and they don't have to thanks to having Derrick Brown on the roster. 

LB Luke Kuechly - $7.1 million

Kuechly retired from the game last offseason but man, it would have been interesting to see how elite this young defense could be with him still on the field. Kuechly, Burns, Chinn, Horn, Reddick, and Brown would be almost unfair to opposing offenses. 

S Tre Boston - $2.6 million

Boston spent two stints with the Panthers and after just one year in Phil Snow's defense, the new coaching regime decided to move on from him. He's not an All-Pro caliber safety but is experienced and knows this defense. I wouldn't be all that surprised to see Carolina bring him back on a cheaper deal before training camp if they don't sign anyone else. 

DE Stephen Weatherly - $2 million

I'll admit when I'm wrong and boy, was I flat out wrong on Stephen Weatherly. I predicted that Weatherly would have a breakout season and develop into a solid pass rusher. Unfortunately for Carolina, that was not the case whatsoever. Weatherly recorded 17 tackles, one tackle for loss, and zero sacks in nine games with the Panthers. He's now back with the Vikings.

K Graham Gano - $1.5 million

Graham Gano was a solid kicker for the Panthers for seven years. After suffering a left leg injury, the Panthers decided to release Gano and rock with the youngster Joey Slye. Was it the right decision? Well, it's a little too early to tell but Gano did go 31/32 in field goals last year with the Giants while Slye went 29/36.

P Michael Palardy - $500k

Just like Gano, Palardy suffered an injury and was then released as the Panthers went with the younger, cheaper option. Joseph Charlton had a strong rookie year in 2020 averaging 46.3 yards per punt.

DT Zach Kerr - $250k

Kerr was a joy to watch in his one year with the Panthers. He brought the energy every single snap and was quite the character. As far as his production on the field, he surprised a lot of people and played really well. He ended the year with 32 tackles and two sacks. Kerr signed with the 49ers this offseason.

RB Jordan Scarlett - $155k 

Scarlett never showed much promise in his short time with the Panthers and rushed for just nine yards on four carries.

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