Report: Cutting Chris Gamble likely Panthers' 'first major move'

Gamble looks like a likely early cut for Carolina. (US Presswire)

A post-lockout spending spree has the current rendition of the Panthers in tough spot: about $19 million over the salary cap as we head into the free-agency period.

There are cuts coming in Carolina and a good bet to be an early one is cornerback Chris Gamble. Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports Monday that cutting Gamble is likely to be newly-hired GM Dave Gettleman's "first major move."

Dumping Gamble would free up $7.9 million in cap, per Person; it's precisely why CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora had dumping Gamble as one of the likely moves the Panthers could/would make in his comprehensive, must-read look at salary-cap situations around the NFL.

In his introductory press conference, Gettleman literally laughed at the Panthers' salary-cap situation and noted "you get in trouble when you overpay" free agents.

The Panthers did just that in recent years, handing out mammoth deals to linebacker Jon Beason (another potential casualty), running back DeAngelo Williams (likewise) and defensive end Charles Johnson.

They have some very good players on the roster and a franchise quarterback in Cam Newton. The issue is it's difficult for them to improve the roster in free agency without any money to spend.

Which is precisely why we're likely to see some veteran cuts out of Carolina coming in the next few weeks. And it looks like Gamble, who had a very nice 2011 but only played in four games this past season because of injury, is a good bet to be the first cap casualty.

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CBS Sports Senior Writer

Will Brinson joined CBS Sports in 2010 and enters his seventh season covering the NFL for CBS. He previously wrote for FanHouse along with myriad other Internet sites. A North Carolina native who lives... Full Bio

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