Panthers give Stewart five-year extension

The Carolina Panthers signed running back Jonathan Stewart to a five-year extension on Saturday.

The deal is reportedly worth $36.5 million, with $22.5 million of it guaranteed.

"We are thrilled to be able to extend Jonathan for five additional years. He is a perfect fit for our organization," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said. "He is a playmaker who can make the difference in games, and we have seen the impact he and DeAngelo Williams have had on our team."

Stewart, the 13th overall pick of the 2008 draft out of Oregon, ran for 761 yards on 142 carries for an average of 5.4 yards per carry. He scored four times on the ground and added 47 catches for 413 yards and a score.

"I'm happy and blessed to have this opportunity," Stewart said. "I just want to thank Marty Hurney, Mr. Jerry Richardson and the entire Panthers organization for believing in me and getting this done."

Over his four years in the NFL, he has totaled 3,500 yards on 725 carries and has found the end zone 26 times. Also, he has caught 81 passes for 702 yards and three scores.

Carolina ranked third in the NFL last season in rushing, averaging 150.5 yards per game thanks to Williams, who signed a five-year extension last season, and quarterback Cam Newton, who won offensive rookie of the year last season.