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Jonathan Stewart still open to long-term deal with Panthers

Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart wants to strike a long-term deal with the club in spite of the crowded back field around him.

The Panthers wanted to extend Stewart's contract earlier this offseason, but were unable get a deal done for the durable fourth-year back who's entering the final year of his contract.

"I definitely hope things work out," Stewart told The Associated Press. "I want to be back. I think we have a lot of weapons on offense and we can be a dangerous team."

Stewart carried the ball 142 times last season, the fewest in career, for 761 yards and four touchdowns on the ground. His carries diminished in part to the running of quarterback Cam Newton.

Stewart has shared carries with starting running back DeAngelo Williams over the past four seasons. Carolina also signed former San Diego Chargers backup running back Mike Tolbert in the offseason.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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