Panthers GM Dave Gettleman made it clear Wednesday that they view Cam Newton as their franchise quarterback and expect to have a long-term contract in place with him at some point in time.
“We want him here. I want him here,” Gettleman said, via the Charlotte Observer. “The contract, in its time, will take place. I’m not going to get into the when, where, why and how of the contract. But we believe in Cam. He’s our franchise quarterback.
“What I feel confident of is, in time, something will happen. He’s our franchise quarterback. I want him here.”
The Panthers picked up Newton’s fifth-year option last year, which will run them $14.666 million for the 2015 season. On top of that, Carolina will have the franchise tag at their disposal in 2016, so they clearly have options to consider in the coming years.
Another factor that’s likely to impact negotiations with Newton is the fact that Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson are both in line to receive massive contract extensions at some point in the near future.
Newton would clearly benefit from the two of them setting the bar for quarterbacks even higher, which means that even if the Panthers were interested in getting a deal done now, his agent may want to hold off and see what Luck and Wilson are making.
Newton, 25, has thrown for 3,127 yards and completed 58.5 percent of his passes to go along with 18 touchdowns and 12 interceptions over the course of 14 games. Newton has also contributed 539 yards rushing and five touchdowns on the ground.
Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 8 quarterback in the league out of 39 qualifying players this season.