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July 12, 2012

Stewart wants to stay with Panthers

Former Panthers middle LB Dan Connor was candid last season when asked about his contract status, saying he was looking forward to testing the free agent market and perhaps finding a team where he could be the man.

Connor, who signed with the Cowboys in the offseason, played in the shadow of Pro Bowler Jon Beason throughout his tenure with the Panthers unless he was filling in for an injured linebacker.

Running back Jonathan Stewart is in a similar position this season as he enters a contract year. Stewart is a versatile back – a strong runner with a low center of gravity who also is a gifted receiver out of the backfield.

But the Panthers signed DeAngelo Williams to a five-year, $43 million last summer and would be seemingly hard-pressed to put together a similar deal to keep Stewart. The signing of free agent RB Mike Tolbert serves as insurance in the event the Panthers cannot re-sign Stewart.

Stewart has never complained about sharing carries with Williams, and said Thursday his preference would be to remain with the Panthers.

We're good. There's no reason why I would want to leave as of now,” Stewart said before an appearance at Bobcats president Fred Whitfield's basketball camp. “With that being said, I'm a Panther and I intend on being one.”

As for dividing the carries three ways (four, counting QB Cam Newton), Stewart said the back with the hot hand will get rewarded in Rob Chudzinski's system.

You're a football player. When your number's called, you respond. That's just the way it's always been,” Stewart said. “If you respond in a way where it's working, you roll with that package.”

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on July 12, 2012 at 03:22 PM | Permalink

Comments

Good of Stewie to take the high road. He acts like a professional, hope we can keep him (although I don't see financially how).

Posted by: jrguyiii | Jul 12, 2012 3:48:05 PM

Stewart is the best back on the team. We would be stupid not to keep him.

Posted by: deepenwide | Jul 12, 2012 4:16:29 PM

Agree with deepenwide. Hopefully Stewart realizes he will make more than enough money and want to be where he's happiest. Plus with the addition of Cam, I think players are more apt to believe in the future here.

Posted by: MW | Jul 12, 2012 4:43:18 PM

I agree that Stewart is the best RB on the team, and they'd be foolish to let him move on. DeAngelo is a great back, too, but has a couple more years of wear and tear, which is critical for RB's, so he's probably already at the peak of his career and surprisingly soo will start heading downhill. If the Panthers reach a point where they HAVE to choose between Williams an Stewart, I think it's a slam-dunk to keep Stewart over Williams, if at all possible. As for Tolbert, he's a great complementary back, and will likely make this offense a lot more exciting. But should never be mistaken as an option for a featured primary RB.
Here's my vote for re-signing Stewart, at all costs.

Posted by: WayneD | Jul 12, 2012 4:48:17 PM

Joe, you cornered him at a basketball camp. What's he supposed to say? Sheesh.

Hopefully the Panthers do the right thing and try to keep him. Can't make up for yet another Hurney mistake with the ridiculous DeAngelo contract by letting him walk. Here is a great Stewart fact that Joe Person failed to report on:

Jonathan Stewart grades out as Pro Football Focus' most elusive back of the last three seasons. PFF uses a formula that factors in missed tackles and production after contact to grade each player. Since the start of the 2009 season, Stewart's 58.8 rating paces the league.

Posted by: Fast Freddie | Jul 12, 2012 4:52:36 PM

Oh not to worry, the most idiotic management team in the NFL will let him walk for nothing. Pathetic!

Posted by: Marco Esquandolis | Jul 12, 2012 5:48:34 PM

And the most idiotic "fans" will continue to make the most idiotic remarks. Pathetic!

Posted by: Gut | Jul 12, 2012 6:19:58 PM

Last place I would expect to see a Phish reference. That being said, you couldn't be more wrong, Marcos.

Posted by: Jeff | Jul 12, 2012 6:30:56 PM

How quick we are to throw D Will under the bus. He has been basically the only running back producing since Stephen Davis. Avergaing 5.6 or 5.7 YPC, only second to Jim Brown all time in the NFL. Its great to have all these amazing RB's on the same team. Either way, I wish them all the best.

Posted by: D.W.G. | Jul 12, 2012 9:13:02 PM

If the contracts have the money spread properly, there shouldn't be as big an issue to pay stewart AND williams. williams is 2 years into a 5 year deal with probably most of the guaranteed money front loaded. you sign stewart to a backloaded deal and restructure williams' contract to accomodate.

still spending a lot of money on the backfield, but with good reason. stewart never had the kind of year williams had in 2008, so his demands can't possibly be quite as high. runningbacks are easy to come by and cheaply, but elite runningbacks like these 2? who have consistently delivered for 4 straight years now? splitting carries as much as they do makes me think they could play together for 10 years.

Posted by: charlottean | Jul 12, 2012 9:14:20 PM

Stewart is also the better back to me. He fights for extra yards and he has a nice speed verse for a big back. And it would only be right if the Panthers had to pick Will or Stew; he came in 08, Will came in 06. (Kanye Shrugs)...I have confidence in Coach Chud that he creates some kind of way for Cam, Will, Stew, and Tolbert to all share carries. Last year was hard enough with three. This year is FOUR??? Were good though. Maybe Cam runs only when he HAS TO and not DESIGNATED PLAYS. The least he gets hit, the longer the career and the longer he'll be a Panthers. (Although many media lames out there thinks that in about 2 years, he's gonna opt out and move to a "big city" team, such as NEW YORK Giants, DALLAS Cowboys, MIAMI Dolphins, CHICAGO Bears). And he could also have the chance of getting MORE passing yards than he had this year. WHICH MAY MEAN, this years total yards can surpass last years. WHICH ALSO MEANS, that since we had only the #7 rank offense, we could possibly have a top 3. Better chance at the Playoffs and Super Bowl. I believe we can make it to the playoffs. And if you make it to the playoffs, you have a 1/6 chance of getting to the Super Bowl, and a 1/12 chance to make it. Which is better than the starting stat: 1/32.

PS: If they still want Cam to run like hell, they can go ahead and do it CAUSE I LOVED......watching that boy run. Was I the only one who saw that long ass 3rd down run he had against the Redskins??? He ran sideline to sideline juking cats. AND I KNOW......that yall saw the Christmas Eve game against the Bucs. That 49-yard TD run looked like AUBURN all over again.

Thank You.

Posted by: Godwin Ozoeneh | Jul 12, 2012 10:48:30 PM

in a perfect panther world we keep stew and have 3 backs..cam run less and smitty go for another 1k rec yds and we make the playoffs for the next 5 years..we will see

Posted by: pantherlove | Jul 13, 2012 1:19:09 AM

I read in another article that, after this year, none of D. William's remaining contract is guaranteed money (and I'll confess, I don't keep up with contract stuff, so I might be completely in err). If this is correct, it sounds like the Panthers could sign Stewart, even to a high-dollar contract. I really like the idea of the Panthers giving "front-loaded" contracts.

Posted by: kyla | Jul 13, 2012 6:37:26 AM

Hey Late Great NFL - don't look now but the sky is falling! Just thought I'd let you know.

Posted by: WayneD | Jul 13, 2012 7:55:19 AM

@Late Great. Get back on your meds, dude...smh...

Posted by: nasty704 | Jul 13, 2012 11:00:42 AM

@Late Great. Get back on your meds, dude...smh...

Posted by: nasty704 | Jul 13, 2012 11:00:48 AM

We made a bad decision giving D.Will that much money. There is no way that we can sign J.Stew to the contract that he will demand. Trade one of them ASAP!!!!

Posted by: C.Bax | Jul 13, 2012 4:36:40 PM

By the way, I hope the Big Cat J.Rich has put up at least a Hundred Million Dollars(that's just the starting point) for Cam when it's his turn to re-up. It would be foolish not too...

Posted by: C.Bax | Jul 13, 2012 4:47:11 PM

They all want to stay with Cam Newton! They are not stupid! Great things are coming!

Posted by: joe cool | Jul 15, 2012 1:30:52 AM

Xpert? Chuckle, snort, giggle.

It ain't just the NFL driving up your cable bill. As we type, Viacom is holding up some of my teen's favorite programming in a contract dispute.

As for Paterno, if you can't discern from the Freeh Report that the man knew and did nothing, you need to turn your GED back in. He was just another greedy, power mad, ego manic gym teacher like the rest of 'em.

See, not one f-bomb to make my point either.

Posted by: Boonie | Jul 15, 2012 7:42:03 AM

The comments to this entry are closed.

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