The Carolina Panthers and running back Jonathan Stewart have agreed on a five-year contract extension. Earlier in the offseason it was reported that Stewart was available on the trading block but the five-year extension seems to indicate otherwise.
#Panthers announced they signed RB Jonathan Stewart to a five-year extension.
— Adam Caplan (@caplannfl) August 11, 2012
Terms of the deal have not yet been disclosed but it is rare to see a team pay two running backs top dollar. The Panthers gave DeAngelo Williams a five-year, $43 million deal last offseason.
Stewart is 25-years-old and will be entering the 5th-year of his career out of Oregon. Stewart has been part of the dynamic duo in Carolina behind Williams. He has 725 carries in his career and has racked up 3,500 rushing yards. Stewart found the endzone on the ground 26 times while adding an additional three touchdowns through the air.
An interesting dynamic in the Carolina running backs contracts is that Williams has no guaranteed money after the 2012 season. Carolina could ask him to restructure the remainder of his contract to free up additional room for Stewart or the team can just part ways with Williams all together without penalty.
However the Panthers work it out, it is a great move. Keeping the solid 1-2 punch of Williams and Stewart will only help as Cam Newton continues to improve and Carolina continues to climb out of of the NFC South basement.