The Carolina Panthers and Luke Kuechly are edging closer to a deal being signed after recent contract talks have heated up.
The 2012 NFL defensive rookie of the year and 2013 NFL defensive player of the year looks close to signing a new deal with the NFC South team.
Panthers General Manager Dave Gettleman has a rule where he doesn’t negotiating contracts during the season, so these talks will have to conclude before the team plays their season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars in three weeks and five days.
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Talks between the Panthers and linebacker are ‘heating up’ according to Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer. Last week there were concerns that the new deal wouldn’t have been completed before week one, but talks have become more serious over the past couple of days.
The two-time Pro Bowler is in the final year of his rookie contract and is already under contract in 2016 on his fifth-year option worth $11.058 million. If the Panthers offer Kuechly a new deal, it will stop him from hitting the free agency at the end of next season.
He is set to become one of the highest paid linebackers in the league because of the accolades he has managed to achieve since being drafted in the first round by the Panthers in 2012.
Spotrac have predicted he will be given a six-year contract worth $69 million, with an average salary of $11.5 million and $27.5 million guaranteed.
I think he deserves a bit more than that though, somewhere in the mid-$70 million in worth, with at least $30 million guaranteed. After all, he was defensive player of the year in 2013, his second season the in league, and he has become a key part of the Panthers defense.