DeAngelo Williams, the all-time leading rusher for the Carolina Panthers, could be entering his final game with the franchise on Sunday against the New Orleans Saints.

Williams’ name was bounced around before the trade deadline and he’s been replaced as the starter by Jonathan Stewart. Of course, Stewart has been sidelined with an ankle injury and that has forced Williams back into the lineup over the course of the past month.

The Panthers have invested big money in both backs with Williams signing a deal with $21 million guaranteed shortly after the lockout ended during the summer of 2011. Since, the team paid handsomely to secure the future of Stewart.

If they let me go, release me, trade me or cut me or whatever they want to do, it’s their decision,” Williams said, according to the Charlotte Observer. “ If it was left up to me, yeah ( I want to remain here). But it ain’t left up to me, though. I mean I guess the question is, who’s the new (general manager) and what’s his style of offense, what’s his background.”

Williams certainly has it figured out. The call will be made by the man the Panthers hire to replace general manager Marty Hurney. That hire may realize there are better ways to support quarterback Cam Newton, who will lead the team in rushing for the second consecutive season, than paying two running backs big-time bucks.

Follow me on Twitter: @BradBiggs

Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune