As expected, the Panthers picked up Cam Newton's fifth-year option on his contract as they try to work out a long-term deal with the soon-to-be 25-year-old quarterback, a source told ESPN's Adam Caplan on Friday.
Newton is now under contract through the 2015 season, when he would make an estimated $14.67 million under the league's collective bargaining agreement.
Newton said on Tuesday that he isn't concerned about his contract status.
"My job is to execute and be the best player I can be for the Carolina Panthers organization, for the Carolina Panthers community, and to represent my name and my team the best I can," he said. "I'm trying to get back to the playoffs."
Picking up the fifth year gives Carolina, which is struggling to get under the salary cap, ample time to get a long-term deal done with Newton before he becomes a free agent.
Newton had surgery on his left ankle last month, but he is expected to be ready for the start of training camp. He will be with the team during offseason workouts, which begin Monday, while commuting to Auburn, where he is working toward his degree, according to ESPN.
Newton threw a career-high 24 touchdown passes last season with 13 interceptions. He also ran for six touchdowns in leading the Panthers (12-4) to the divisional round of the playoffs, where they lost to the 49ers.
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