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Stewart wants Panthers to keep RB DeAngelo Williams

  • By NFL.com
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Some NFL running backs forced to share carries with an equally talented backfield mate might be anxious to see that teammate leave for another city, but not Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart.

Stewart told the Charlotte Observer on Monday that he hopes pending free agent DeAngelo Williams stays in Carolina.

"Once they get this deal done, I'm pretty sure the organization would like to keep the duo going," Stewart said. "I mean, if it's not broke, why fix it?"

Stewart and Williams have mostly split carries effectively during their three seasons with the Panthers. In 2009, they became the first backfield tandem to rush for 1,100 yards each in a season. But last season, both struggled: Stewart finished with just two touchdowns, and Williams played in just six games before a season-ending foot injury.

Williams is expected to be one of the top free-agent running backs available this year.

Although Stewart wants his teammate back, he said the pair don't discuss business during the offseason.

"When me and DeAngelo hang out, we don't talk about anything pertaining to football. We'll talk about soccer. We'll talk about the (Women's World Cup) game that happened (Sunday)," Stewart said. "But when it comes to our friendship, and that goes for a lot of guys on the team, it's genuine to the fact that we don't have to talk about football."

Stewart attended the Panthers' players offseason training activities, where he had the chance to meet rookie quarterback and No. 1 overall draft pick Cam Newton.

"He seems like a real good dude," Stewart said. "He's doing all the right things and he's bringing a different swag to the table. We'll see what he can do, and see him and Jimmy (Clausen) battle it out during camp and just make each other better."

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