Should the Panthers Extend Newton After the Season?

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Louis Riddick with ESPN identified some players from the 2010 and 2011 drafts that might get paid this offseason and the Panthers QB is one of those players.

From ESPN Insider:
Opinions have varied on Newton and his ability to be a true franchise quarterback both on the field and as the face of the Panthers. Admittedly, my opinion has changed for the better not just because of his performance but because of the complimentary comments I hear about him from those who are most affected -- his coaches and teammates.

On the field, the consistency in his footwork, pocket movement, mechanics/delivery, field vision, decision-making under pressure and accuracy, while not perfect, is all improving. He will always be a dangerous run-pass threat because of the sheer magnitude of his athletic ability, but he is also proving to be productive in crucial situations, such as on third down (64.6 percent completion rate, 8.57 yards/attempt, 101.8 rating). Most importantly, his team is winning and is poised to challenge for the NFC South crown. Although just 24 years old, I would commit to him following the conclusion of the 2013 season.

So the pundits are finally giving credence to what Newton's teammates and coaches have been saying the past two seasons. The kid is maturing and going to be everything we hoped when we selected him #1 overall.
So how much might it cost to extend Newton after his 3rd season?
Agent analysis: "$50 million guaranteed. To me, the best comp is Sam Bradford [as odd as that sounds], since he redid his deal after his third year and his guarantee was $50 million without even sniffing the playoffs. From the team perspective, he's a far bigger risk because of how much he runs and the hits he takes. I think GM Dave Gettleman knows from his time with the Giants how valuable a QB is and he'd go to $50 million, but I also think he'd be more comfortable in the $34 million to $40 million range, even if it means a little shorter deal. He can always come to them later with 'free money' to lock him up more later."
So are we talking 6 or 7 seasons and $50M??? I'm okay with that but it's not my money. From my perspective though it seems a fair amount and I think Newton in the long run will be well worth it. I honestly think we are only seeing the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the impact can have not only on the field but off of it too. The amount of celebrity he will bring to the franchise and region will be immense.

Of course this is one of the key decisions Gettleman will have to make which is why he makes the big bucks.

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