ESPN insider Len Pasquarelli reports that the Carolina Panthers will seek a contract extension with their Pro Bowl running back. This sentiment is echoed by beat writer Darin Gantt who says (in response to a question about Pasquarelli's report):
Trust Len always. I think both sides want to
During this youth movement and lack of commitment from the Panthers it seems surprising that they are perhaps willing to make their largest commitment now of all times. Many fans and insiders have prognosticated that the Panthers wont we able to afford contract extensions for both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, but is this part of a master plan?
More after the jump
Based on their production I have said for a long time that both Williams and Stewart will be looking at a contract similar to what Steven Jackson got in St. Louis (6 years, $44.08 million). If this does indeed ring true, coupled with a possible reduction to the salary cap it would be very difficult to justify keeping both players. If you follow this line of thinking then an extension to DeAngelo Williams could indicate that the Panthers have already made their future decision, and could possibly entertain keeping Stewart for his rookie contract, or trading the running back- though this doesn't seem likely in 2010.
However, the flip side to this could be the possibility of severely front-loading an extension for DeAngelo Williams to ensure his big money years don't cross over with the timetable for Jonathan Stewart's extension. From where I sit this looks to be the most likely scenario. If they were to give all, or the vast majority of Williams' guaranteed money up front it would only be limited by Jerry Richardson's pockets- it wouldn't count towards the cap.
Ultimately, it's early days and Pasquarelli is the only one reporting this proposed extension, but I think it should bring a sigh of relief to some Panthers' fans who have already discounted the organization as one looking to be cheap, not competitive. It remains to be seen what the long term goal of the Panthers organization is, but for now we can rest assured that it appears to include DeAngelo Williams.
I could not think of anything more to make me happy