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Backfield crowded in Carolina, but Jonathan Stewart wants to stay

Former 1st round pick entering final year of contract Brad Biggs

Print This July 13, 2012, 09:32 AM EST

The backfield looks awfully crowded in Carolina right now but Jonathan Stewart isn’t bucking to leave.

He wants to remain right where he is.

Stewart, a first-round draft pick in 2008, is entering the final year of his rookie contract and it’s his goal to remain with the Panthers for the long haul.

We’re good,” Stewart said, according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer.

Good but also very deep in the backfield and also heavily invested. The Panthers stepped up with a big contract for Stewart’s backfield mate last summer, signing DeAngelo Williams to a five-year, $43 million deal. Some onlookers believed the Panthers overpaid Williams. Whatever the case, Stewart is set to earn $1.3 million this season and if he performs well it will be difficult for the Panthers to give him top dollar, especially after they added Mike Tolbert to the mix this offseason.

“There’s no reason why I would want to leave as of now,” said the 25-year-old Stewart. “With that being said, I’m a Panther and I intend on being one.

“I’m not an agent. I’m not a GM. I’m not an owner. I’m not a coach. I’m a player. So what a player does is prepare himself to play football games. So no matter what happens, I’m ready.”

We’ll see how it plays out. If Stewart has a big season, certainly he’ll get good money somewhere.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune
 

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