“It’s more than about the money…I’m in a place where I really want to be at and I’m being compensated for being here. Charlotte has given me hope and an opportunity…It’s time for me to do my part.”
“It doesn’t mean doing everything by myself. I feel like the Carolina Panthers are built from the ground up with guys who are invested.” Cam is invested.
Cam believes in his team. “What people don’t see is the chemistry.” Accountability is stressed with this team; each player is responsible and accountable to each other. “We just want to be the best Carolina Panthers team that we can become.” “We show up on film and play for each other. That’s what I want people to see, offensively as well as defensively.”
“Ten years from now I want to say that I’ve played with the best Carolina Panthers team ever.” “We’re trying to be great…we have a locker room full of guys yearning to prove their worth, myself included.” “Coach says, understand your role and master it.”
Panthers linebacker Thomas Davis preemptively told a reporter Thursday he didn’t have any information on his negotiations on a long-term extension, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reports.
And while the talks have not yet produced a signed contract, Davis remains hopeful a deal will be finalized before the start of training camp at the end of July.
“Sure, absolutely. That’s why we’re working on it, to try to get it done,” Davis said. “We’re not just working on it to say we’re working on it. I feel like it will be something that will be done probably before we go to camp, but we’ll see.”
Davis, 32, is entering the final year of a contract that will pay him $7.25 million this year, with a salary cap number of $9.9 million. The NFL’s reigning Man of the Year has said he would have retired rather than play for another team had the Panthers not picked up the two-year club option in 2013.
Davis expressed confidence Thursday that the Panthers would present a fair deal.
In 2014, the question was asked by Sports Illustrated to LB Luke Kuechly, “In one word, describe QB Cam Newton.” “Character,” was the word given to describe the influential leader of the Carolina Panthers. “You cant describe that guy in one word,” says Kuechly, “That’s what makes him tough, he’s bright, he’s smiling, he’s having a good time, he’s joking, but he’s a competitor and that’s what it always comes back to. Cam will have his fun but when it comes time to compete, you better believe he’s going to compete.”
Fans are witnessing a historic moment in the life of the Panthers. A renewal of energy has circulated the Carolinas and the team recognizes the energy, encouraging the momentum and embracing it.
Cam wants to get behind such a movement, calling out the fans to continue the tide of enthusiasm as he and the team continue to seek the cherished prize of bringing the Lombardi trophy to the Carolinas.
“Life is so funny, it’s all about growth,” says the maturing QB. “Things have to evolve. You have to shed things that were good and also those things that were bad… I’m still striving to be who I want to be.”
Cam clearly recognizes that the accident of last year had a major impact on his view of life and in making the necessary changes he needed in order to be the person that he wants to be. His life needed re-evaluation. “The moment came on time.” Cam is about seizing the moment and living life to the fullest, he says,“You have to appreciate life.”
Cam wants to live his life on a high-note. He wants to remain positive and surround himself with positive people. “If you have negative energy, stay away from me, I don’t need it. I’m all about positivity. That’s very contagious. So is negativity.”
Panther fans need to rally behind their team’s vocal leader, heed his words of wisdom and expect the good results.
Some may view the QB as arrogant, cocky, and all the other “negative” words that have been said about Newton. However, the QB says what he feels, he wants to excel, he wants to dominate, he wants to change the game for the positive and he won’t let anyone stand in his way.
Is this the type of leader that fans can be excited about? That fans can rally behind? The type of leader that a team can support and expect great things as he leads them down the field and gives it his all, knowing his role and what he can offer.
Quarterback Cam Newton has signed a five-year, $103.8 million extension with the Panthers, a source told Adam Schefter of ESPN.
The extension features $60 million guaranteed and will earn Newton $67.6 million in the first three years, according to the source.
Newton, the first pick of the 2011 draft, was in the final year of his rookie contract. Carolina exercised the fifth-year option on that deal last year, meaning Newton was set to make $14,666,666 in 2015 before the extension.
The deal was negotiated between the Panthers and agents Bus Cook, Tony Paige and Chitta Mallik, the source said.
Newton’s representatives had been seeking a contract with a high percentage of the money guaranteed and not tied to injuries or other clauses to increase the base value, such as deals the San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick and Cincinnati Bengals’ Andy Dalton signed last year.
Quarterback Cam Newton and the Panthers are close to finalizing a long-term deal, multiple sources confirmed to David Newton of ESPN.com.
ESPN 730 radio in Charlotte had earlier reported that a deal between Newton and the Panthers was close.
The station, co-operated by former Panthers general manager Marty Hurney, reported the deal could be done as early as Monday and is likely to run through 2020.
Newton, the first pick of the 2011 draft, is in the final year of his rookie contract. Carolina exercised the fifth-year option on that deal last year, meaning Newton was set to make $14,666,666 in 2014 before an extension.
The radio station reported Newton’s new deal, based on the current market, is likely to be worth between $20 million and $21 million a year.
Newton and the Panthers will open up play on the road against the Jacksonville Jaguars. Tickets for week 1 in Jacksonville start at $40, according to TiqIQ.com. In Week 2, the Panthers will have their home opener against the Houston Texans. Tickets to Week 2 start at $45, a slight increase over the opening week. According to Hipmunk.com, fans looking to spend a night after the game can find hotels near the Bank of America Stadium for as low as $65. However, it is slightly cheaper to stay in Charlotte with hotel rates starting at just $39.
Kony Ealy is still a work in progress, but can the Panthers afford to wait for him–when it is clear they need another dominant pass rusher to fill the void of Hardy?
Ealy is still not where the Panthers want him to be. It was clear that when Ealy was drafted last year in the second round that he was a work in progress and needed to develop his fundamentals.
The Panthers have prided themselves on having a staple defense–it is one area that they emphasize and were hoping to rest easy. The Panthers re-signed DT’s Cole and Edwards who helped stabilize the group last year. Coach Ron Rivera also indicated that Star Lotulelei is coming along nicely with his rehab, according to NFL insider, David Newton.
It is clear that a piece is still missing with the departure of Greg Hardy and if Ealy has not clearly shown that he has taken the next step, then the Panthers may look at taking a strong DE early in the draft. Rumors have been circulating of a possible trade down by Carolina who would look to re-solidify the pass rush. The Panthers are doubtful to make such a strong move; it would be an uncharacteristic approach to their draft philosophy, no matter the need to find a replacement. The Panthers do find themselves in a good position with this years draft, having gained two Compensatory draft picks, both in the 5th round.
The Panthers have a decision to make and the draft is one where all the cards on are on the table. Randy Gregory certainly hasn’t helped the Panthers problems with acquiring a ready-to-go, dominant pass rusher. Gregory is showing off-the-field issues, which the Panthers aim to stay clear of, having shown a zero-tolerance for “character” issues. Gregory recently failed a drug test which may hurt his chances to be a top-10 pick in the draft. An aggressive pass rusher would be a hot commodity for a lot of teams and there is reported interest by the Atlanta Falcons that they would look to take Gregory in the draft.
Here’s the top-18 DE’s in this years draft, which is deep at the DE position:
Last year in Spartanburg, at the Panthers training camp, Ealy was still figuring things out. In fact, QB Cam Newton was giving the new DE an earful–challenging the rookie to play to all of his potential. At the end of last season, Ealy grew into his role, and since then hasn’t looked back. He now looks to his upcoming year, increasing his performance and tackling new ground-breaking numbers. Ealy, along with other DE’s like Frank Alexander, will take the healm, gripping the ropes, where Greg Hardy, known as the ‘Kraken,’ left off. They had to to do it early on out of necessity last year, with Hardy only being allowed to play in one game. Ealy gained valuable on-the-field reps and experience, vital to kick-starting the 2015 season.
Ealy at Missouri, logged in 9.5 sacks, and the Panthers are looking for him to do the same, to play a big-time role in the NFL. The Panthers saw enough in Ealy to spend a 2nd round draft pick. Now with the Panthers loosing Hardy because of “off-the-field” issues, they need another premiere pass rusher to play alongside of their other threat of Charles Johnson.
Ealy will undergo yet again, another competitive training camp, and will have to be ready to build upon his attained success that he established at the end of last season. He will know most of his competition, yet there may be some new fresh faces that will bring the best out of the ex-Mizzou who shows a lot of flashes and potential to be a top-premiere pass rusher in the league, in time.
Ealy accumulated a total of 4 career sacks in 2014 and increased his performance towards the end of the season. He found himself swarming to the ball and assisting in numerous tackles. Staff looks for overall player improvement, which Ealy did, and they were excited to see him develop. It appears the team has high hopes for him and the success that he’s capable of. GM Dave Gettlemen was impressed with Ealy’s performance and his advancement late in the season. Any time a player shows his capabilities and growth draws excitement to a developing team. Gettlemen seeks to put the pieces together and build. Gettlemen is a firm believer that the “answer may already be on the roster.” It appears the Panthers philosophy has paid off again, when many were scratching their heads, when the Panthers picked up Ealy in the 2nd round of last years draft.
Unfortunate circumstances brought the early dismissal of the ‘Kraken.’ Panthers need an early Ealy to bring back the attack and compliment the destroyer, Johnson. Ealy is the guy to prove his abilites along with the rotation of the other powerhouses that take on the role as DE in the Carolina Panthers.
Former Georgia tailback Todd Gurley will visit the Panthers on Thursday, Gurley told reporters Wednesday at the Bulldogs’ pro day in Athens, Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer reports.
Gurley, who is from Tarboro, was among the leading Heisman Trophy candidates last season before the NCAA suspended him four games for taking $3,000 in exchange for autographed memorabilia.
Gurley’s visit comes a week after the Panthers cut DeAngelo Williams in a move that saved them $2 million against the salary cap. Jonathan Stewart and Fozzy Whitaker are the Panthers’ top returning running backs.
Carolina has the 25th overall pick in the draft.
“The Panthers are a great organization,’’ Gurley told reporters in Athens. “I’m a North Carolina guy, so that’s a team that I’ve known about my whole life, really. They’ve had some great running backs. But I don’t favor any team right now. I don’t want to make any other teams mad.”
Gurley did not participate in Georgia’s pro day activities as he continues to recover from knee surgery. Gurley tore the ACL in his left knee against Auburn in November in his first game back from suspension.