Panthers get some salary-cap help

For those wondering how the cap-strapped Carolina Panthers are able to sign more new defensive tackles to replace injured ones, we’ve got the answer.

It's because the Panthers are no longer all that tight against the salary cap. According to contract numbers obtained by ESPN.com, the Panthers recently were given about $2.5 million in cap room as credit for bonus pro-rations that were already paid.

The Panthers received a credit of $1.625 million for part of a bonus that was paid to running back Jonathan Stewart in 2009. They also got a credit of $937,500 for a bonus that was paid to tackle Jeff Otah that same year.

The Panthers currently are sitting about $3.4 million under this year’s cap.