Andrew Luck‘s six-year, $140MM extension featuring $87MM in guarantees makes the deal the Panthers gave Cam Newton last June look even more like a bargain, opines Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer. Carolina awarded five years, $103MM and $60MM in guarantees to Newton, who proceeded to lead the Panthers to a 15-1 regular-season record and a Super Bowl berth in 2015-16. Newton also parlayed 45 touchdowns and nearly 4,500 total yards into NFL MVP honors.
Elsewhere around the NFC…
- Lions first-rounder Taylor Decker is on track to start at left tackle, thus sending veteran Riley Reiff to the right side, according to Kyle Meinke of MLive.com. Decker – an ex-Ohio State stalwart whom the Lions took 16th overall – manned left tackle for every OTA and minicamp rep that was open to the media, per Meinke, who contends that the 6-foot-7, 310-pounder has the physicality and blocking skills necessary to help turn around the Lions’ last-ranked rushing attack.
- A lack of established rushing options puts the Redskins in danger of having a one-dimensional offense this year, writes Master Tesfatsion of the Washington Post. Including starter Matt Jones – who averaged only 3.4 yards per carry as a rookie and had as many fumbles as touchdowns (four) – the Redskins have a slew of unproven ball carriers, as Roster Resource shows. The most seasoned of the group is Chris Thompson, who has 15 games (38 rushes) under his belt and has dealt with recent back trouble, notes Tesfatsion. Of course, it’s worth mentioning that the Redskins’ Alfred Morris-led ground game had the third-worst yards-per-carry mark in the league in 2015, but that didn’t stop the team from winning the NFC East.
- Earlier Wednesday, the Seahawks made receiver Doug Baldwin‘s four-year contract extension official. We also learned that Cowboys second-round rookie Jaylon Smith is unlikely to play this year.