|In back to back offseasons, these two have signed remarkably similar contract extensions. (Ryan Wilson, CBSSports.com)|
It was only 380 days ago when the Panthers rewarded running back DeAngelo Williams with a five-year contract extension worth $43 million and $21 million guaranteed. On Saturday, Carolina made sure its other top running back wasn't going anywhere either, as the team announced it had signed Jonathan Stewart to a five-year extension.
Stewart was entering the final year of his contract and was scheduled to be paid about $1.3 million for his trouble. Now, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter, he's signed a five-year extension worth as much as $42.5 million and which includes $22.5 million guaranteed.
Although there were rumors in the offseason that the Panthers were looking to trade Stewart, general manager Marty Hurney was adamant that those reports weren't true -- it actually seems more likely that Williams would be the first of the running backs to depart, especially since his guaranteed money only lasts through the 2012 season.
For his part, Stewart maintained that he wanted to stay in Carolina as well.
"We're good," he said last month. "There's no reason I would want to leave as of now. That being said, I'm a Panther and I intend on being one.”
Together, Stewart and Williams combined for 1,597 yards and 11 touchdowns in 2011 to go with Cam Newton's 706 rushing yards. Stewart also added 47 catches for 413 yards.
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