Safety Godfrey still not guaranteed a spot

ORLANDO, Fla. -- There were assumptions when the Carolina Panthers lost free safety Mike Mitchell to Pittsburgh in free agency that Charles Godfrey had a spot on the roster despite his big salary cap number.

Never assume.

Asked about Godfrey on Tuesday during the NFL owners meeting, general manager Dave Gettleman said, "We're evaluating."

The last time Gettleman used that phrase it was about wide receiver Steve Smith, and he's no longer on the team. That's not to suggest Godfrey has one foot out the door, but it's understandable that the team won't make a commitment to the free safety.

Godfrey is coming off an Achilles injury that ended his 2013 season in the second game. He has a $7.1 million salary cap figure in 2014, so if he's not completely healthy and able to perform to the level that made him worthy of the big number in the first place, then it's not worth it keep him on the roster.

By cutting Godfrey after June 1, the Panthers would save $5.1 million against the cap.

That's huge for a team trying to get cap healthy.

But you can't cut Godfrey while he's injured. The Panthers have to either get clearance by the team doctor and likely an independent doctor of the player's choosing or work out an injury settlement.

That could get dicey with Godfrey's price tag.

Either way, Godfrey is anything but safe.

"We're moving forward," Gettleman said. "That's part of the evaluation. He's got to get healthy first."