The Carolina Panthers have had a solid offseason, re-signing starters like wide receiver D.J. Moore and cornerback Donte Jackson while also adding talent at weak spots on the roster, such as offensive line. The Panthers reportedly aren't done making moves just yet, as they completed a simple restructure on running back Christian McCaffrey's contract, clearing about $5.5 million in cap space, per NFL Media's Tom Pelissero.
The Panthers now have the most available cap space in the NFL at $29,060,636, per Over The Cap. As for the reason for this move, Carolina is still looking for a quarterback, and may be the favorite to land San Francisco 49ers signal-caller Jimmy Garoppolo. However, it's also possible Carolina opts to use its No. 6 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft to add a quarterback as opposed to sending picks over to San Fran.
The contract Carolina adjusted belongs to the highest-paid running back in the NFL. Back in April of 2020, the Panthers reset the running back market by signing McCaffrey to a four-year deal worth $16 million per season. The contract unfortunately jinxed McCaffrey's success, however, as he has played in just 10 games over the past two years due to multiple injuries. The season before signing his record-breaking extension, McCaffrey toasted NFL defenses for 2,392 scrimmage yards and 19 total touchdowns.