Panthers Place Luke Kuechly On Reserve/Retired List

Months after Luke Kuechly‘s retirement announcement, the Panthers officially placed the perennial All-Pro linebacker on their reserve/retired list, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

By waiting until after June 1 to do so, the Panthers will spread out Kuechly’s $11.8MM in dead money over two years. For 2020, it will create almost $6MM in cap space for the Panthers, Joe Person of The Athletic tweets.

This will give Carolina some additional breathing room, bumping its cap-space figure north of $8MM. That will be necessary for the franchise to sign its draft class, though the Panthers have already signed first-round pick Derrick Brown.

Kuechly retired at 28, with two seasons left on his five-year, $61.8MM contract. The future Hall of Famer would have been set for a mammoth extension, with top peer Bobby Wagner taking the off-ball linebacker market to $18MM per year in 2019 and the Panthers having recently inked Shaq Thompson to a more lucrative deal than the one on which Kuechly finished his career. But Kuechly, who battled concussions in previous years, opted to walk away after eight seasons.

The Panthers attempted to address their considerable void by signing ex-Lions and Raiders starter Tahir Whitehead, who played for Matt Rhule at Temple. Although the Panthers made seven draft picks on defense, they did not use any of those selections on a linebacker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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11 comments on “Panthers Place Luke Kuechly On Reserve/Retired List

  1. HubcapDiamondStarHalo

    What is the reasoning behind a retired player’s salary still counting against the cap as dead money?? I can sort of see it if a team cuts a player, but the guy retires and there’s still essentially a financial penalty the team pays?

    • qbert1996

      Because retiring is essentially like cutting or trading a player with guaranteed money still left on their deal. Luke’s remaining guarantee the 11.8 million is still counting against the current cap. The Panthers making this move after June 1st means they split that charge in half now over two seasons instead of one

      • HubcapDiamondStarHalo

        Please pardon my ignorance here – does Luke still get the guaranteed money even if he retires? If so, I understand the cap hit thing… but I admit I’d be surprised if that’s the case.

        • abssamanta

          I too would like to know about what HubcapDiamondStarHalo asked about. Since he already asked the questions I would’ve asked, I’m just tagging along and waiting for an answer.

          • abgb123

            It’s been paid out already, his signing bonus was paid out in the first year but the cap hit was spread out or otherwise pushed to the back end of the contract.

        • mcmillankmm

          He’s likely already been paid it if the dead money is signing bonus

        • qbert1996

          Yes he likely has already been given his guranteed money if it was part of his signing bonus which most guaranteed money is. The team can ask for the money back, but more often than not, they let the player keep money out of good faith and because it’s already on the books anyway

          • HubcapDiamondStarHalo

            Aaaaah!!! Okay, THAT makes sense!! I appreciate the information!

            Couldn’t wrap my head around it otherwise.

            • jjabrony

              This discussion is much too civil to be in PFR. Is someone gonna call someone else a moron or do I have to do everything around here?

  2. DarkSide830

    the NFL’s cap functions just make no sense. another reason why i never want the MLB to have a cap.

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