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News » Carolina Panthers Inside Slant 2009-03-27

Carolina Panthers Inside Slant 2009-03-27

Carolina Panthers Inside Slant 2009-03-27
Despite some published reports, the Carolina Panthers are not close to working out a contract extension with starting quarterback Jake Delhomme, according to his agent Rick Smith.

While Smith joked Thursday that he talks "a million times a week" with Panthers general manager Marty Hurney, he added that no deal is in the works right now to restructure Delhomme's contract.

When asked if contract talks are still in the preliminary stages, Smith said, "We're not at any stage yet."

As for his gut feeling on whether or not he'll be able to work out a long-term deal with the Panthers this off-season, he responded, "I sure don't know."

The Panthers clearly wouldn't mind having the salary cap room that would come with restructuring and extending Delhomme's contract.

Delhomme is in the final year of a five-year contract with the Panthers and set to count more than $11 million under the salary cap, $5.75 million which is guaranteed in prorated signing bonuses. Delhomme's base salary is $5.325 million for 2009.

The uncertainty of the NFL's collective bargaining agreement is playing a role in the situation since the 2010 season is likely to be an uncapped year unless a new deal can be hashed out.

There are still plenty of Carolina fans who would like to see the team part ways with Delhomme after his six-turnover performance at home in the NFC Divisional Playoff against Arizona.

However, at the NFL owners meetings this week in Dana Point, Calif., coach John Fox reemphasized that Delhomme's overall body of work is impressive.

"Sometimes today's headlines aren't the right things (on which to base) a big decision," Fox told reporters including one the Charlotte Observer at the NFC Coaches breakfast. "Jake had games like that during the season. He didn't have an especially great game at Tampa. He didn't have an especially great game out in Oakland. I think that can be said for any quarterback in the National Football League.

"So when you're a (personnel) decision-maker, you can't let the emotion of that one outing blur the big picture. I wholeheartedly appreciate what fans say, and the critics. But I think he had a bad game; he's not a bad quarterback."

In six seasons, Delhomme has led the Panthers to the playoffs three times, reaching the NFC Championship game twice and the Super Bowl once. He's 5-3 in the postseason.

Last year, the Panthers won the NFC South with a 12-4 record before getting pummeled by Arizona 33-13 at Bank of America Stadium.

Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: March 27, 2009

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Jake Delhomme Name: Jake Delhomme
Position: QB
Age: 33
Experience: 10 years
College: Louisiana-Lafayette
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