Big Cats Notes: Newton, Suh, Dalton

As Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer writes, “the seal was broken” on extensions for 2011 first-round draft picks–the inaugural group of first-rounders under the new CBA–when Patrick Peterson and Tyson Smith recently signed new long-term, big-money deals. Given the extensions for those high-profile franchise cornerstones, Person wonders when the Panthers will look to extend quarterback Cam Newton.

Of course, Carolina picked up Newton’s option for 2015 back in April, so they have time to get a deal done. The team might also be wise to wait and see how Newton’s surgically-repaired left ankle responds this year. However, if Newton enjoys the same type of success in 2014 that he did in 2013, he will really drive up his price tag, especially since Newton’s supporting cast appears weaker this season.

Former NFL agent Joel Corry does not believe the new deals for Smith and Peterson will “open the floodgates” for their fellow 2011 first-rounders, and he expects the Panthers and Newton to strike an agreement on an extension after the end of the 2014 campaign but before training camp opens in 2015. It remains to be seen what that extension will look like, but an average annual value of $20MM seems to be the new starting point for signal-callers of Newton’s caliber.

Now for some more links from the league’s Big Cat franchises:

  • Former agent Joel Corry believes that the Lions‘ decision to table contract talks with Ndamukong Suh indicates that Suh’s contract demands are “sky-high” and that he was probably asking to be the highest-paid defensive player in the league, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press. Corry believes that if Suh’s camp was not asking for that type of contract, the two sides probably would have struck a deal.
  • Jaguars‘ running back Toby Gerhart was held out of Saturday’s scrimmage, but Gerhart said he was merely experiencing leg tightness and the decision to not participate in the scrimmage was precautionary, writes Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida-Times Union.
  • In the same piece, O’Halloran provides a little more detail on the roster moves that the Jaguars made yesterday.
  • Coley Harvey of writes that Bengals‘ quarterback Andy Dalton, who is entering the final year of his rookie contract, has been “sensational” in training camp thus far.
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