The Panthers created more than $3 million in salary cap space by restructuring veteran linebacker Thomas Davis' contract this month.
As reported last week, the Panthers picked up the two option years on Davis' deal, but they also added three voidable years on the contract, which now runs through 2018. That allows them to stretch the bonus money over the length of the contract for salary cap purposes.
Under the terms of the restructured contract, Davis received a $5 million bonus for signing the $16.5 million contract -- a figure that includes $1 million salaries for each of the three voidable seasons from 2016-2018.
Davis' base salary this year decreases from $2.75 million to the veteran's minimum of $950,000. Davis' cap number dips from $6.82 million to $3.57 million for a savings of $3.25 million.
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Davis' base jumps to $7.5 million in 2014, with a cap figure of $10 million.
This is the fourth time in three years the Panthers have renegotiated with Davis as a result of his injury history and the team's cap positioning.
According to league sources, the Panthers also are looking to restructure the deals of other veteran players, with defensive end Charles Johnson and center Ryan Kalil the most likely candidates.
Davis, 30, is coming one of one of his best seasons, just two years removed from the third ACL surgery on his right knee. Davis finished with 123 tackles -- second on the team behind middle linebacker Luke Kuechly -- and added four sacks.