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Carolina Panthers to pick up option on Cam Newton

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Detroit Lions don't plan to pick up the fifth-year option on defensive tackle Nick Fairley, but the Carolina Panthers are choosing to do exactly that with quarterback Cam Newton.


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"Yes," general manager Dave Gettleman said Tuesday when asked if Carolina would add a fifth season to Newton's deal, per ESPN.com. "Yes, that's a fair statement."

It's a move that will allow the team plenty of time to hammer out a long-term extension for the former first overall pick, while earning Newton a fat paycheck in the process.

Under the new collective bargaining agreement, Newton -- as a top 10 pick from 2011 -- would earn the average of the NFL's 10 highest-paid players at his position in 2015. ESPN listed that number at $13.7 million, a figure bound to rise.

We wouldn't be surprised to see the Panthers reach a long-term deal with Newton before Gettleman is forced to go down this road.

Newton has expressed a desire to stay with the team and avoid a holdout. If there's a holdup, though, this option, at worst, prevents Ace Boogie from hitting the open market next March.

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