The Carolina Panthers will be $15 million over the 2013 salary cap, The Charlotte Observer reported. That may be why new general manager Dave Gettleman preached frugality Tuesday -- to temper expectations.
The overall message: "You get in trouble if you overpay," Gettleman said, via CBSSports.com's Will Brinson.
Gettleman declined with a laugh to describe the Panthers' cap situation. (You know things are tight when the GM laughs at the mere mention of the salary cap.)
Gettleman stressed the draft and basically said don't expect any high-priced free agents.
"There's gold to be mined down there," Gettleman said. "You don't have to spend a ton of cash to get a good football player."
There are plenty of franchises that take the same mentality -- draft-and-develop, avoid expensive free agents. The Packers immediately come to mind. But the Panthers have no choice. Having $89 million tied up in running backs Jonathan Stewart, Mike Tolbert and DeAngelo Williams doesn't help.
It's a tricky situation for Gettleman. He inherits a franchise with salary-cap problems and a coach he didn't select. There are also significant expectations with Cam Newton at quarterback and four consecutive victories to end the season, including winning 5-of-6.
Nobody said these jobs are easy.
Follow Kareem Copeland on Twitter @kareemcopeland.