Newton currently sidelined after undergoing ankle surgery.
The Carolina Panthers are expected to use the fifth-year option on quarterback Cam Newton to secure him through the 2015 season.
As a result, the move will likely buy them time to negotiate a long-term deal with the signal-caller, and the franchise have until May 3 to inform the player and his representation of their intentions moving forward.
The Panthers will likely wait until the last minute to exercise the option, as once the option goes into effect then the fifth-year salary of Newton’s deal becomes guaranteed.
Under the collective bargaining agreement, Newton will be entitled to the average of the league’s 10 highest-paid quarterbacks in 2015, with estimates suggesting that figure is likely to be around $13.7m although it is subject to change.
Nevertheless, when asked about the prospect of using the option, Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman appeared to be receptive and concluded that it would be a “fair statement” to suggest that is what the franchise will do.
The 24-year-old had surgery on his left ankle on Wednesday last week and is expected to miss the next four months of off-season work, although Gettleman confirmed that the procedure went well and that there are no concerns over his physical state.
Newton himself has previously suggested that his goal is ultimately to be with the Panthers for the long term, and he had no plans to hold out in order to force the team into a long-term deal that wouldn’t necessarily suit them financially.
As a result, it is expected that the fifth-year option will give Carolina some much needed time to get the new deal agreed upon without the risk of Newton becoming a free agent next summer, while they also deal with their own salary cap issues.