League sources told NFL Media and The Athletic on Tuesday that Carolina's decision to place Kuechly on the retired list after June 1 allows the team to spread his dead cap hit over the next two seasons. According to The Athletic, the Panthers will save about $6 million in cap space for 2020 following the move.
Kuechly, 29, announced his retirement in mid-January, walking away from football after eight seasons in the league. The standout linebacker cited injury concerns and his inability to play the game with strength, speed and physicality.
Kuechly, a seven-time Pro Bowl selection, suffered multiple documented concussions during his NFL career.
The Panthers selected Kuechly with the No. 9 overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft out of Boston College. The seven-time All-Pro choice led the league in tackles twice (2012, 2014) and was named NFL Defensive Player of the Year in 2013.
Since Kuechly's retirement, the Panthers have signed linebacker Tahir Whitehead and added several undrafted free agents at the position.