Cap-strapped Panthers could keep DeAngelo Williams

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The Carolina Panthers are facing some tricky issues when it comes to the salary cap.

They are expected to ask a handful of players to restructure contracts in order to move money around and ask a few to take pay cuts. Some veterans will likely have to go.

But Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer reports the Panthers could be positioned to keep both high-paid running backs Jonathan Stewart and DeAngelo Williams, who ousted general manager Marty Hurney signed to major deals in his final two years.

Some have figured Williams, who got a contract shortly after the lockout ended in 2011, would go. He is due to earn $5 million this season and will have a cap figure of $8.2 million. But Person reports the Panthers “hope to keep both” backs, according to an NFL source.

It could be a situation where Williams’ cap number will be prohibitive whether he is on the roster or not. In that case, the club might as well keep him. Williams played well late in the season when ankle injuries sidelined Stewart and third running back Mike Tolbert led the club with seven rushing touchdowns and 27 receptions. It’s a full house in the backfield. We’ll see if it remains that way.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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