Carolina Panthers left tackle Jordan Gross agreed to restructure his contract on Wednesday, a move that will save the Panthers considerable salary cap space, according to Steve Reed of the Associated Press.
According to the report, Gross agreed to reduce his 2013 base salary from $8.7 million to $1 million while his 2014 base salary will drop from $6.7 million to $1 million. Complete details of the restructure are still unknown, but it's likely Carolina converted Gross' base salary to a signing bonus while adding additional years to his contract. Gross' deal was set to expire after the 2014 season. If the Panthers extend his contract, they can spread the signing bonus over multiple years to reduce the salary cap hits in 2013 and 2014.
The move is significant for Carolina as the Panthers had just over $3 million in estimated salary cap space in 2013, according to Spotrac. As BW Smith of Cat Scratch Reader wrote, the move is expected to reduce Gross' 2013 salary cap number from $11.7 million to $4 million, saving Carolina $6.7 million. As they still need to sign their draft picks, the move should give Carolina flexibility to pursue additional free agents.
Gross has spent his entire 10-year career with the Panthers, including 16 starts at left tackle last season.