Originally created 01/24/02

Gilbert, Biakabutuka among Panthers left unprotected



CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Carolina Panthers exposed running back Tshimanga Biakabutuka and four other players worth a total of $26.4 million in salary cap figures for the Houston Texans to consider in the expansion draft.

Also left unprotected on the list the Panthers submitted to the NFL on Tuesday were defensive tackle Sean Gilbert, cornerbacks Doug Evans and Jimmy Hitchcock and linebacker Dean Wells. The expansion draft is Feb. 18.

The Texans are coached by former Panthers coach Dom Capers, who held general manager powers when Gilbert and Evans signed huge contracts with the Panthers. Capers also was with the Panthers when they used a first-round pick on Biakabutuka in 1996.

But it's unlikely that Capers will select any Panthers based on their salary cap figures.

Biakabtuka, who is attempting to come back from a foot injury, has a $2.725 million cap figure for 2002. Gilbert's cap figure is $10.21 million and Evans is scheduled to count for $7.452 million. Hitchcock has a $4.32 million cap figure and Wells is scheduled to take up $1.69 million.

Any player the Texans select immediately counts on their salary cap.