Carolina have until May 3 to officially inform Newton of option.
The Carolina Panthers have reportedly picked up a fifth-year option on quarterback Cam Newton which would secure his future until the 2015 season.
According to ESPN NFL Insider Adam Caplan, the team will exercise the option early despite having until May 3 to officially inform Newton and his representation that they will use the fifth-year option that was built into the new collective bargaining agreement.
General manager Dave Gettleman revealed last month at the NFL owners meeting that picking up Newton’s option was a priority, and under the CBA the quarterback will be entitled to the average of the league’s 10 highest paid quarterbacks in 2015.
That estimate is understood to come out at $14.67m although the Panthers won’t likely reach that fifth year of Newton’s contract before offering him a lengthier deal before that time comes.
Nevertheless, the 24-year-old insists that contract talks are not the focus at this point as he continues his rehabilitation from ankle surgery last month.
It is reported that he is ahead of schedule but will likely be limited until training camp starts in late July, although he will spend time with the team during off-season workouts while commuting to Auburn where he is taking classes.
“My job is to execute and be the best player I can be for the Carolina Panthers organization, for the Carolina Panthers community, and to represent my name and my team the best I can,” Newton said. “I’m trying to get back to the playoffs.”
The Panthers had a relatively successful season last year in getting to the post-season, but they were ultimately stopped in their tracks by the San Francisco 49ers and will look to build on that showing and go a step further next time round.