Carolina Panthers GM Dave Gettlemen told reporters on Tuesday that they will pick up QB Cam Newton‘s fifth-year option.
“Yes,” Gettleman when asked whether he plans to pick up the option, per ESPN.com. “Yes, that’s a fair statement.”
This probably comes with little surprise given that Newton has quickly become one of the best young quarterbacks in the games.
Carolina would be on the hoop for an average of the top-ten highest paid quarterbacks in the NFL next season if they are unable to reach an agreement on a new contract. Newton would make $13.7 million non-guaranteed under the option.
Newton, 24, is coming off of a solid 2013 season in which he completed 61.7 percent of his passes for 3,379 yards, a career high 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions. He also contributed another 585 yards rushing and six touchdowns on the ground.
Given the recent contracts handed out to quarterbacks, it’s conceivable that Newton could be in line for as much as $20 million annually. The Panthers could hold off and see what Colin Kaepernick gets from the 49ers before addressing Newton, considering that he is probably a better comparison to Newton’s value than Joe Flacco and Matt Ryan.