Panthers lead league in starters' salary

The Carolina Panthers may have only two wins, but they’re paying their starters more than any team in the NFL.

According to contract numbers obtained by ESPN.com, the Panthers are paying their 24 starters (including punter and kicker) an average of $4.963 million. Unfortunately for the Panthers, this is based on opening-day starters and includes the big contracts of linebackers Thomas Davis and Jon Beason, who suffered season-ending injuries.

But Carolina’s starters average almost $400,000 more than the second-highest team, the Pittsburgh Steelers.

The Atlanta Falcons are No. 9. Their starters average $4.074 million. The New Orleans Saints are No. 17 with a $3.9 million average. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are No. 27 at $3.114 million.