Carolina Panthers safety Charles Godfrey has agreed to take a large paycut that will provide much needed salary cap relief for the team to the tune of $4 million. This was an expected move for Godfrey, whose cap hit was at roughly $7 million for 2014 but is now approximately $3 million. His salary remains unchanged for 2015 and 2016. As selfless as this move seems to be for Godfrey, he was most likely given the option of either taking the paycut or getting cut altogether.
The restructured contract gives Dave Gettleman $6 million of cap space to work with but don’t expect many, if any, free agent signings with it. Teams usually need about $3 million to sign their rookies and the Panthers would probably like to have some insurance cap space in case somebody goes down.
The 28-year old defensive back is coming off an achilles injury suffered in Week 2 that cost him the majority of the 2013 season. Additionally, it seems probable that the signings of Roman Harper and Thomas DeCoud spell the end of Godfrey starting at safety. With Captain Munnerlyn leaving for Minnesota, Godfrey will likely slide into the nickelback role that has grown significantly in importance in the NFL recently. The transition would make sense since cornerback was the position the versatile Godfrey played in 25 of his 28 career starts at the University of Iowa.