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Jan 16, 2013 12:18am
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CHARLOTTE, N. Wholesale Jerseys Free Shipping .C. —The
Panthers reached a five-year contract extension with running back
Jonathan Stewart on Saturday. Panthers general manager Marty Hurney says the
team is “thrilled” to keep Stewart around to work with fellow running back
DeAngelo Williams, who received a five-year contract last year, and new fullback
Mike Tolbert. The new deal keeps Stewart a Panther through 2017. Financial terms
of the deal werent immediately available. ESPN, citing sources, reported the
deal includes $22.5 million in guaranteed money and is worth $36.5 million
overall. Hurney calls Stewart a “playmaker who came make a difference in games”
and that “we have seen the impact he and DeAngelo Williams have had on our
team.” The move came before the Panthers opened the preseason Saturday night at
home against the Houston Texans. The decision also closes speculation the
Panthers (No. 20 in AP Pro32) might attempt to trade Stewart because of their
depth at running back. Stewart was in the last year of his contract. However,
Hurney said that was never an option. “We didnt even consider it,” Hurney said.
“Hes a valuable player for us. All you have to do is look is look at his
production. I think you look at it as if you try to add as many weapons as
possible on offence, regardless of position. And Jonathan and DeAngelo have been
a proven to be a solid 1-2 punch for us. They have been a proven commodity and
we wanted to make sure we didnt lose Jonathan.” Technically Stewart is a backup
running back for the Panthers, but in name only. In fact, Stewart had 189 total
touches last season, 18 more than Williams. Hurney said Stewarts
“multi-dimensional” skills are a huge help. Along with rushing for 761 yards and
four touchdowns last season, Stewart also caught 47 passes for 413 yards
receiving with three scores. He served extensively as the teams third-down back
last season. Stewart has run for 26 touchdowns in his four seasons. Hurney said
re-signing Stewart, a first-round draft pick in 2008, has been a priority this
off-season. “We feel like you have to keep your good players,” Hurney said.
“Thats why we arent active in free agency. We place an emphasis on re-signing
the players weve drafted. And Jonathan is a valuable player for us.” A
fifth-year running back, Stewart is the teams second leading career rusher
behind Williams with 3,500 yards. In 2009, Stewart ran for 1,133 yards and 10
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. Toronto has dropped two in a row since a three-game winning
streak and lost for the fourth time in seven tries on Monday. Ricky Romero lost
his seventh straight start and gave up four runs—three earned—in six
innings. Super Bowl
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. The 21-year-old from Brampton, Ont., averaged
8.2 points and 6.5 rebounds per game in his rookie season after taking over as
the starting forward when Anderson Varejao broke his wrist. ORCHARD PARK, N.Y.
—Closing the season with a win was of little consolation to Buffalo safety
Bryan Scott. With the Bills eliminated from playoff contention long ago, Scott
wasnt sure if a 28-9 victory over the New York Jets on Sunday would make a
difference in determining the status of beleaguered coach Chan Gailey or any
other changes that might be coming. “The chips are going to fall where they may.
Obviously, I dont know to what extent,” said Scott, who scored on a 20-yard
interception return. “This is one game. Its not any consolation as to what we
wanted to get done this season.” Gailey was short on answers about his future.
“Lets talk about today,” Gailey said, declining to say whether hes met with team
owner Ralph Wilson, who was in Buffalo on Friday. “Not a lot of jubilation,” he
said, referring to the mood of his players. “They were happy, but not excited.”
At least they had a win to celebrate. The Jets had nothing but pride to play
for, too, and their performance did nothing in addressing questions now facing a
turmoil-riddled team also bracing for an uncertain off-season. Quarterback
Mark Sanchez finished with yet another sloppy outing. Nor did he help the status
of offensive co-ordinator Tony Sparano, whos expected to be released after one
season. And questions remained about whether coach Rex Ryan and general manager
Mike Tannenbaum will be back. “The future is going to be addressed at a
different time,” Ryan said. And yet, even Ryan had to acknowledge his
disappointment. “Six wins isnt up to anybodys expectations, for this team and
certainly not mine,” he said. The Jets (6-10) closed their second season with
three straight losses, and capped their worst finish since going 4-12 in 2007.
Theyve now gone 14-18 since playing in successive AFC title games. The Bills
(6-10) snapped a three-game skid, but still finished fourth in the AFC East for
a fifth straight time while extending their post-season drought to 13 years. In
three seasons under Gailey, theyre 16-32 and 7-18 in their last 25 games since
getting off to a surprising 5-2 start last year. “Theres going to be change, and
we all know that,” said Stevie Johnson, who finished with 111 yards receiving in
becoming the first Bills player to surpass 1,000 yards in three straight years.
C.J. Spiller had 59 yards rushing and scored the go-ahead touchdown late in the
second quarter on a 66-yard catch and run. Brad Smith scored on a 4-yard run,
and Tashard Choice on 113-yard run for the Bills, who ended a six-game losing
streak against the Jets. Wholesale Super Bowl XLVII Jerseys. Scotts
interception was the first of two turnovers forced by a defence that had gone
three games without one. And Buffalo limited the Jets popgun attack to three
field goals. That was enough to cue the latest chorus of Sanchezs critics, and
raise questions as to whether the 2009 first-round draft pick has worn out his
welcome. “We just didnt execute, and it starts with the quarterback,” Sanchez
said. “I have to be better. When youre inconsistent, its tough to win in this
league.” Sanchez went 17 of 35 for 205 yards, while throwing his 18th
interception and also losing a fumble. That was reminiscent of his last start,
two weeks ago, when he turned the ball over five times in a 14-10 loss at
Tennessee. The Jets trailed 14-9 at the half despite gaining more yards than
Buffalo (204-132), getting more first downs (13-4) and holding a whopping edge
in time of possession (23:15-6:45). Sanchez was supposed to be on the bench on
Sunday, and only got the start after third-stringer Greg McElroy complained of
concussion-like symptoms on Thursday. “I know Im better than this,” said
Sanchez. “Im contracted to be here. And I want to be here.” Time will tell on
Sanchez, Sparano and that of backup quarterback Tim Tebow, who did little to
justify the hype he received after arriving in New York in an off-season trade
with Denver. This was not the finish anyone expected of the Jets. They opened
the season with a 48-24 win over the Bills, and closed it by combining for 60
points in their final five games. This is not the finish many expected for the
Bills, either. They also opened the season with aspirations of being a bona fide
contender after their defence was supposed to have been improved with the
addition of high-priced defensive end Mario Williams. “The win doesnt change how
the season went as far as reaching our team goals,” safety George Wilson said.
“But, at the end of the day, were able to go into the off-season on a winning
note. NOTES: The Bills had the sticker “WWFD” on the back of their helmets,
honouring two West Webster Fire Department firefighters who were shot and killed
while responding to a fire in the Rochester, N.Y., suburb on Monday. ... Jets PK
Nick Folk kicked three field goals, including a 47-yarder, and also had a
30-yard attempt blocked by DT Marcell Dareus. ... Bills PK Rian Lindell missed
wide left from 50 and 46 yards. ’ ’ ’ 

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