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March 25, 2014

Gettleman: Panthers will use fifth-year option on Newton


While reiterating that Cam Newton remains the Panthers' franchise quarterback, general manager Dave Gettleman said the team will use the fifth-year club option to keep Newton under contract through at least 2015.

Newton, the first No. 1 pick to sign under the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to a four-year contract worth a guaranteed $22 million in 2011.

Under the new CBA, teams control the fifth year for first-round picks at a controlled price. For the top 10 picks, the fifth-year salary is the average of the top 10 players at their position.

Teams have until May 3 to exercise the fifth-year option.

"We're in conversations on that now," Gettleman said Tuesday at the NFL owners meetings.

Asked if he expected to use the option on Newton, Gettleman said: "The short answer is yes. That's a fair statement."

Gettleman indicated the moves the Panthers are making now -- or those they're not making -- are with future salary caps in mind.

In addition to locking up Newton with a long-term deal, the Panthers also have to create space to keep middle linebacker Luke Kuechly and defensive tackles Star Lotulelei and Kawann Short with the team.

"The bottom line is, when we draft and the coaches develop the player and he's a four- or five-year guy, we don’t want to look at each other and say, ‘I can’t believe we can’t sign this guy," Gettleman said. "It’s about Cam, it’s about Luke, it’s about the two young defensive tackles if they keep developing. It’s about any of them."

Gettleman also addressed several other key personnel topics:

--He was noncommittal about the future of free safety Charles Godfrey, who has a $7.1 million cap figure and is coming off Achilles surgery. Gettleman said Godfrey first has to get healthy and is part of the team's evaluation process.

--Gettleman called right tackle Byron Bell a natural left-handed tackle who has played the position in practice and during the preseason. The Panthers are looking for a replacement for left tackle Jordan Gross, who retired in February.

--Gettleman didn't have any updates on the negotiations on a long-term deal with DE Greg Hardy, who signed his franchise tender and is under contract for a guaranteed $13.1 million this season.

--Joseph Person

Posted by Observer Sports on March 25, 2014 at 12:06 PM | Permalink


So...he really didn't say anything?


Posted by: JOAT | Mar 25, 2014 12:21:23 PM

Does gettlemen even know who Byron bell is.. If he's talking about putting him at left tackle I'm under the impression he doesn't know who he is

Posted by: Rocky lac | Mar 25, 2014 12:32:53 PM

He actually said quite a bit here. Bell will be the starting left tackle. Godfrey is gone (remember when Smith was part of the evaluation process). Cam will get a long term deal later this year.

Posted by: RB Ron | Mar 25, 2014 12:33:35 PM

Sound good to me let's get us a good number 1 WR in draft and we are good to go

Posted by: Jon | Mar 25, 2014 12:37:56 PM

if they don't work out a long term deal with cam before his deal is up, fail.

Posted by: tony clifton | Mar 25, 2014 12:40:38 PM

In other news,

Joe Person reports in the Tomlin/Cotchery article that Cotcherty had TWENTY-ONE touchdowns last year. 21!

Sweet, didn't know we were getting Megatron!!

Someone wake up Joe Persinger and tell him to get on the editing around there.

Post to be censored by the Observer in 10, 9, 8...

Posted by: Pauly | Mar 25, 2014 12:45:08 PM

In other news,

Pauly is a miserable douche!!

Pauly's next asinine comment in 10, 9, 8...

Posted by: Clay | Mar 25, 2014 12:55:03 PM

ease up on joe....tough job watching spring practice...

Posted by: tony clifton | Mar 25, 2014 1:37:09 PM

Byron Bell is actually not that bad. He's naturally a LT anyways and I guarantee that he'll do better over there. Gross used to play RT until they moved him to LT. I've seen plenty of games where Jordan played like crap and let Newton get sacked, and without much resistance. Time will tell on Bell.

Posted by: Joshua David La Russa | Mar 25, 2014 1:43:44 PM

I see everyone is pulling for a WR as our first pick, but I could not disagree more. Last year our O-Line was shaky at best. Granted we had many injures that did not help the situation, but we lost two of our better linemen. It would not surprise me if Wharton retires before the season starts. A number one receiver means nothing if our quarterback is on his back half the time. I would be happy if they used the first four picks the offensive line. I think WR would be a shortsighted pick if we are looking for back to back winning season. Give most QBs enough time and they can make number two receiver look like number ones.
Also everybody is riding Gentlemen about Smith and the lack of free agent signings. Hurney left us in a salary cap mess. Nobody is talking about the fact that we have over 50 million dollars in dead money this year just in the RB alone. We can’t afford to half the guys on our team let alone bring in any big name free agents. Under the circumstances I think Gentlemen is going a great job. As for Smith, I love the man and he is hands down the greatest Panthers ever. That said, in the past the Panthers would hold on to a guy like this well past his prime. Think of the Jake Delhomme contract and the many others like that. In the past we would hold on to a team of old men. Winning organizations cut ties with players before they are done. In addition to that how many ball did the man drop last year? He has lost a step, and they want a locker room attitude change. This is what it take to create a winning culture. Look at the great organizations around the league. They make changes like these all the time.

Posted by: GoPanther14 | Mar 25, 2014 1:51:42 PM

byron bell isn't even under contract for 2014. so there's that to consider also.

might be smart to sign the guy before naming him your starting left tackle. just an opinion.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 25, 2014 2:11:14 PM

go panther14....please break down that delhomme contract for us all. would love to hear you explain that one....

all hurney did there was move a lot of guaranteed money back so that the team could keep peppers in 2009 to try and keep a playoff team intact. he didn't give delhomme any more than he was already in line to get. and when he hurt his arm again? what did hurney do.......he cut him. so great argument.

Posted by: charlottean | Mar 25, 2014 2:13:17 PM

Why are we in Orlando again?

Posted by: Jerry Richardson | Mar 25, 2014 2:27:12 PM

There's general question I would love to throw out to the room. How many of you have ever been a general manager of an NFL team? What about a GM on an arena football team? maybe arena 2? So, yeah, GM haters ... *shhhhhh* We know you're dying for attention, it's why you're so negative.

Gentleman was dealt a pretty crappy hand last year and did his best personnel wise and once Ron decided to stop subscribing to the John Fox conservative approach, the team started winning games.

Now let's get on to Steve Smith. How many of you guys worked for the Carolina Panthers as a member of the active roster? I can safely assume none of you. How many of you actually spent a moment in the locker room or team meetings with Steve Smith? Ever? None of you? of course not. He was Jerry Richardson's star for 13 years. You think he'd let Gentleman let Smith go without his approval? You have any idea what it's like to have to work next to someone who is the biggest pain in the butt every single day? Maybe he was a nice guy but he could have been intolerable to be next to during meetings, during practice. The thing is, none of us know. So until you strap on a carolina panthers helmet, Shhhhhhh, you're embarrassing yourself.

Posted by: mister sir | Mar 25, 2014 2:48:05 PM

My take on it is that Hardy vcan sign a long- term deal...5yr/45 Mil...$15 Mil in guarentees & make it incentive based or 6 yr/$68Mil 18 Mil in guartees but mke the 6 th yr a team option...in increments of 7,9,11,13, & 15 Mil with option of 17 on yr 6, if they decide to keep him....that would be cap friendly & would still pay him if he earned it on te field. Keeps cap hit low & can sign other players. Tht's the future of the league when they can work & structure contracts that are incentive based

Posted by: David | Mar 25, 2014 3:01:51 PM

The O-line has ALWAYS been an issue - and I should know!

Posted by: James Clausen | Mar 25, 2014 3:02:31 PM

Sign him to the one year deal, it's his last. Out the door to better ownership/management in 8...7...6...5...

Posted by: Truth | Mar 25, 2014 3:09:27 PM

Byron Bell @ LT? You're about to see Cam's recovery time quadruple.

Posted by: Mike W | Mar 25, 2014 3:38:44 PM

Release the Kraken!!!

Posted by: The Kraken | Mar 25, 2014 4:56:41 PM

He said left handed tackle

Posted by: Jarrod | Mar 25, 2014 6:59:56 PM

I would love to see the LT from Auburn play wit Cam and the run first run second offense

Posted by: Pearce | Mar 27, 2014 10:48:56 AM

Also need backup QB I hear Tebow is available would fit this offense well!!!

Posted by: Pearce | Mar 27, 2014 10:53:41 AM

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