Report: Talks between Panthers, Kuechly heating up


With a pair of 2012 second-round linebackers getting new contracts in recent weeks, the first linebacker taken in round one of the 2012 draft could be next.

Via Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer, talks between the Panthers and linebacker Luke Kuechly are “heating up.”

At last check, the odds of getting a deal done before the start of the regular season were deemed to be 50-50. So progress apparently between the Panthers and the 2012 NFL defensive rookie of the year and 2013 NFL defensive player of the year apparently has been made.

Panthers G.M. Dave Gettleman has a policy of not negotiating contracts during the regular season. So they have three weeks and five days to get something done.

The Panthers waited until quarterback Cam Newton played four full seasons before signing him to a long-term deal. And it so it had seemed that the Panthers would do the same thing with Kuechly.

But Kuechly plays a position with a greater risk of serious injury, making it more important to the player to shift the injury risk back to the team as soon as possible. With Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner (pick No. 47 in 2012) and Buccaneers linebacker Lavonte David (pick No. 48 in 2012) shifting the injury risk back to the team after only three years, Kuechly surely would like to do the same — even though his first-round status gives the Panthers two more years before he hits the market, via the fifth-year option.

Of course, locking Kuechly up with two years left on his deal likely will be cheaper than doing it with one year left, with Kuechly likely taking less now than he’d want a year from now, if he gets through a fourth NFL season without the kind of injury that permanently derails or limits a career.

23 responses to “Report: Talks between Panthers, Kuechly heating up

  1. Great player and an even better man. Solid incentive for both sides to get this done. The Panthers haven’t always made the best decisions that way but seemed to have turned the corner under Gettleman

  2. Dude is a MONSTER! He deserves to be the highest paid MLB and one of the highest paid defenders. Period.

  3. Just pay the man. He is by far the best payer on the team, and without him the Panthers will be “cellar dwellers” in 2015.

  4. The only defender in the NFL better than Kuechly is JJ Watt. I’m glad he’s on our side. I hope they get it done.

  5. Jgedgar70 said:

    “The only defender in the NFL better than Kuechly is JJ Watt. I’m glad he’s on our side.”

    Very true. Because your team is in a small market, NFL fans across the country are only just now discovering the scope of Kuechly’s greatness. (And he’s still improving!!) What I wouldn’t give to have him on our defense running Dick LeBeau’s plays …

    – Titans Fan

  6. Kuechly is saying to himself “Lavonte David has beat me in stats the first 3 seasons of my career”, “he’s already signed”, … “I need to prove my worth” and “get my money now”… “and still not win anything, EVER. Cause Kitty Cam is my QB”. Damn, Im screwed!

  7. 87hollywoodhorn says:
    Aug 18, 2015 12:16 PM
    the whodats hate for the panthers is heating up, we wanna sweep yall fools u feel me?
    Whodats hate all three NFC South rivals. But despite whatever delusion you may hold, our most hated foe has ALWAYS been and ALWAYS will be, the Falcons. Our second most hated rival is Dallas. But we (at least some of us) also give props where due. Luke Kuechly is a BEAST and was happier than Bobby Wagner, when Wagner signed his contract. Huechly has EARNED the right to be the highest paid LB in the game.

  8. IF they lose Kuechley….

    Carolina loses a percentage of their fan base.
    He’s as important to that defense as an all pro quarterback is to an offense.

    Is he the Best middle linebacker in the game?…. I don’t know, but he’s definitely in the discussion.

    Expect a contract similar to the Seahawk’s Bobby Wagner…. not the Saints Dannell Ellerbe

  9. I remember in 2012 watching the NFL draft hoping that somehow Kuechly might fall to Seattle in the middle of the 1st (obviously it worked out well getting Wagner in the 2nd). Wasn’t one bit surprised to see him go earlier or to see him develop into the absolute beast of a LB that he is today. Love having Bobby at MLB for the Hawks and would argue he’s top 5, if not top but I do believe Kuechly is #1 at his position and deserves to be paid like it.

  10. Dude is a beast, for sure. However, I still think Navorro Bowman didn’t get the respect he deserved for the 2013 Defensive MVP voting…the stats were close, but I think Bowman deserved it more. Carolina will definitely pay him though, they can’t afford not to

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