When Dave Gettleman took over as general manager in January, the Carolina Panthers were about $16 million over the salary cap and coming off a fourth consecutive season in which they failed to make the playoffs.

Five months later, as he sat under a white tent on a hot June afternoon following the Panthers’ final minicamp practice, Gettleman said he likes the direction of his team as it breaks for several weeks before training camp in July.

Third-year quarterback Cam Newton looks comfortable running a more user-friendly offense. The defensive line is as deep as it’s been in years.

And though he didn’t make any big splashes in free agency, Gettleman brought in several players to fill holes in the secondary, the receiving corps and special teams.

“I thought we had a real solid offseason. We obviously had issues early on. We addressed them. I think we’ve come through the other side pretty well,” Gettleman said Thursday.

“I feel good about the way we’re positioned right now. Obviously, you’re not going to know until training camp when the pads go on. Like everybody else, you don’t know.”

But the Panthers feel good about several areas following a month of organized team activities and minicamp, including the beefed-up defensive front, a deep and talented linebacking group and the development of Newton.

“We feel we’re really strong in some spots, important spots. I feel really good about where we are,” Gettleman said. “Cam’s had a really good spring in all facets of the game. Really at the end of the day, I think this is a club that understands when it’s time to go to work. And they’ve really had a heck of a spring.”

Barring any injuries between now and late July, the Panthers will head to Spartanburg mostly healthy. The biggest health concern is running back Jonathan Stewart, who missed all of OTAs and minicamp recovering from offseason surgery on both ankles.

Gettleman would not speculate on whether Stewart would be ready for the start of training camp, saying: “We’ll see. Time will tell.”

Franchise rushing leader DeAngelo Williams, who restructured his contract during the offseason, got plenty of reps this spring, as did fullback Mike Tolbert. The Panthers did not run a lot of zone read during OTAs, and it appears the option package will be de-emphasized under first-year offensive coordinator Mike Shula.

In the passing game, Newton demonstrated great timing with tight end Greg Olsen throughout the spring. Former Giants wideout Domenik Hixon missed minicamp with a hamstring injury, although receiver/returner Ted Ginn Jr., another free agent acquisition, got open deep several times to haul in Newton passes.

The Panthers did not sign a veteran to replace No. 2 tight end Gary Barnidge, who went with former offensive coordinator Rob Chudzinski to Cleveland. But both Gettleman and coach Ron Rivera believe blocking tight end Ben Hartsock is more versatile than his career receiving statistics indicate.

“Ben Hartsock’s had a terrific spring. He’s a lot better than I think people understand,” Gettleman said. “There’s a lot of things he does that bring real value to the table. I’ve been preaching, a lot of times the answer’s on your roster.”