Panthers Exercise 5th-Year Option On QB Newton

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The Panthers have exercised the fifth-year option on quarterback Cam Newton's contract, keeping him with the team through the end of the 2015 season.

The team made the announcement Friday, after indicating it hoped to sign Newton to a long-term deal.

By exercising the option on Newton's rookie deal, the Panthers will have more time to work out a longer contract.

Newton, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft, is slated to make $3.37 million this season and would receive $14.67 million in 2015 if he doesn't sign a contract extension before then.

Newton completed a career-high 61.7 percent of his passes last season and threw for 24 touchdowns and ran for six. He has started all 48 games during his three seasons with Carolina.