Williams still will be paid $5 million this year, mostly in the form of a signing bonus. But the Panthers reportedly lowered Williams' salary-cap number by $3.2 million this year by extending the contract and reducing Williams' salaries in upcoming years. Williams was set to make a combined $13 million in 2014 and 2015, money he surely never would have received. Now, the contract reportedly calls for Williams to receive $1.85 million in base salary in each of those seasons, in addition to some incentives and workout bonuses.
The contract terms support the notion that Williams might have been cut if he didn't restructure his contract, but this is a win-win deal. Williams still can be effective -- he just was overpaid.
Without diving too deeply into the numbers, the takeaways here are clear. Williams, 30, will remain on the roster this year alongside Jonathan Stewart. The contract gives the Panthers immediate salary-cap relief and recognizes a reduced role for Williams in the offense, increasing his chances of sticking around in future years.