The Panthers assured their one-2 punch at RB would stay intact by signing Jonathan Stewart to a 5-year agreement extension Saturday.
Panthers’ GM Marty Hurney says the team is ”thrilled’ ‘ to keep Stewart around to work with fellow RB DeAngelo Williams, who received a 5-year contract last year, and new fullback Mike Tolbert.
The new agreement keeps Stewart a Panther thru 2017.
Financial conditions of the deal weren’t instantly available, sources, reported the deal includes $22.5 million in guaranteed cash and is worth $36.5 million overall.
Hurney calls Stewart a ”playmaker who makes difference in games” and that ”we saw the impact he and DeAngelo Williams had on our team.” Baseball odds
The move came before the Carolina Panthers opened the preseason Saturday night at home against the Texans.
The choice also closes supposition the Carolina Panthers (No. 20 in AP Pro32) might attempt to trade Stewart because of their depth at RB. Stewart was in the last year of his contract.
Nevertheless Hurney said that was never an option.
”We didn’t even consider it,” Hurney said. ”He’s a valuable player for us. All you have got to do is look is look at his production. I think that you look at it as if you try and add as many weapons as possible on offense, with no regard for position. And Jonathan and DeAngelo have been a proved to be a solid 1-2 punch for us. They have been a proven commodity and we wanted to make sure we didn’t lose Jonathan.”
Technically Stewart is a backup RB for the Panthers, but in name only. In fact, Stewart had 189 total touches last season, 18 more than Williams.
Hurney said Stewart’s ”multi-dimensional” abilities are a big help.
With rushing for 761 yards and 4 touchdowns last season, Stewart also caught 47 passes for 413 yards receiving with 3 scores. He served at length as the team’s 3rd-down back last season.
Stewart has run for 26 touchdowns in his 4 seasons.
Hurney related re-signing Stewart, a 1st-round draft pick in 2008, has been a priority this offseason.
”We feel just like you have to keep your good players,” Hurney said. ”That’s why we aren’t active in free agency. We place an emphasis on re-signing the players we’ve drafted. And Jonathan is a valuable player for us.”
A 5th-year RB, Stewart is the team’s 2nd leading career rusher behind Williams with 3,500 yards. In 2009, Stewart ran for 1,133 yards and 10 touchdowns.
— New Cincinnati Bengals left guard Travelle Wharton is out for the season with a knee injury, according to 2 reports.
Wharton was one of a few Bengals hurt in their 17-6 superiority over the New York Jets on Friday.
Wharton was injured on the 3rd offensive play and was seen on crutches at halftime.
Middle linebacker Rey Maualuga and left end Carlos Dunlap sustained right knee sprains in the opening minutes of the game as well.
Maualuga related he’s going to miss a couple of days of practice. Dunlap would not comment on his injury and there is not any time frame for his return. A knee twist sometimes takes a week or two to heal, dependent on the severity of the injury.