How do you read into this? For a team promising to spend to the cap, I get a little nervous when I start to see ownership cutting pennies from the budget. Here are some possibilities as I see it:
1. We are spending to the cap now, let's save as much money in other areas as possible. If you are going to increase the payroll for players, then the payroll for other employees in the organization needs to go down to make up for the increased spending.
2. The old ownership and management team was awful. The organization was poorly organized and bloated with unnecessary employment positions. Combine this with some underperforming employees that were not doing a good job and you cut 30 people from the organization.
3. New ownership is a bunch of liars. They come in promising to spend to the cap, but it turns out all they are really worried about is trying to turn a profit according to the method we are all too familiar with: cut costs as much as possible in every place possible.
Personally, I am assuming this is mostly #2 above. The old ownership and management was a joke, I wouldn't have trusted them to organize my kitchen cupboard, never mind a professional sports team front office.There might also be some truth to #1 above, that there needs to be some cost savings if you are going to increase player payroll. But I never really got that vibe from new ownership. He seems to be a successful business man, so it may be playing into it.
However as a fan of the Panthers from day #1, #3 above scares me a little. Ultimately, this offseason will let us know for sure.