It's not often that an offensive lineman is considered the face of a franchise, but in Charlotte, NC, that just might be the case. Left Tackle Jordan Gross just completed his 10th season with the Carolina Panthers, and has two seasons remaining on a six year extension he signed back in 2009.
As it stands, the 32 year-old will have a cap hit of $11.7 million for 2013, but the Panthers are asking him to restructure that contract to help free up more cap space. And the restructure sounds like more of a request to take a pay cut.
Gross said he wants the Panthers to be successful, but stopped short of saying he would agree to a reduced salary.
"There's two sides to football - the football side and the business side. In the offseason, you deal with the business side," Gross said Saturday in a phone interview. "Right now the Panthers and I are trying to work out the best solution to help this team move forward."
There are many ways to go about conducting business in the NFL, and constantly pushing cap hits onward into the future will eventually catch up with a team. Then they get to the point of having to flat out cut high profile players from their roster (which owner Jerry Richardson is no stranger to), or ask players to take pay cuts.
Other teams prefer the pay-as-you-go method-- Meaning, spend what you can, but don't mortgage your future. Of course, there are many, many more factors that go into it, but when a team is constantly battling salary caps and having contract issues, it might be worth revisiting.
Will Gross take a pay cut for the team he's been with since entering the NFL? Stay tuned...