The Carolina Panthers have restructured the contract of veteran linebacker Thomas Davis to make sure he stays with the team, while freeing up $3.8 million in salary-cap space, according to a league source.
The Panthers decided not to exercise an $8 million option bonus that was due in three days. Davis has suffered three torn ACLs in the last two years and the option bonus was built in as a safeguard as Davis came back from his second injury last summer. He suffered the third injury early last season.
Davis’ cap figure for 2012 is now a comfortable $2.1 million. In addition to not getting the bonus, Davis took a cut in base salary from $2.25 million to $700,000 for this season.
But Davis can recoup some of the money later in the contract that runs through 2015. He has a $500,000 option bonus in 2013 and a $2.5 million second option in 2014. If he’s still with the team in 2015, his base salary will be $7.25 million.