Newton mentioned that he expects talks to take some time, but he’s still hopeful that an agreement will be reached at some point.
“My agreement with the Panthers, it’s not something that you can just say off the top of your head,” Newton said during an interview with the Observer on Monday. “My relationship with (Panthers owner and founder) Mr. (Jerry) Richardson runs deep. Hopefully I will be able to get that long-term deal because Charlotte is a place that I can call home.”
Earlier in the day, Newton told the Dan Patrick Show that he’s “absolutely not” considering a holdout this offseason.
“Being the leader of this team, I don’t think that would be a good look for me,” Newton said, via Pro Football Talk. “I’m not worried about contract discussions right now. My main focus is just becoming the better player I can become.”
Newton, 24, has just one year remaining on his rookie contract that will pay him $3.378 million. He’s clearly earned a long-term deal, but the Panthers do have some cap issues that could factor into early contract talks.
Beyond that, Carolina will almost certainly pick up Newton’s 2015 option in the mean time, which means they could keep him under contract for at least the next two years. Afterwards, the Panthers will have their franchise tag at their disposal, but by then it would probably make more sense to have a long-term agreement in place seeing it would come with much more reasonable cap figures.
We’ll have more regarding Newton and possible extension as the news is available.