CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Panthers reached a five-year contract extension with running back Jonathan Stewart on Saturday.
Panthers general manager Marty Hurney says the team is "thrilled" to keep Stewart around to work with fellow running back DeAngelo Williams, who received a five-year contract last year, and new fullback Mike Tolbert.
The new deal keeps Stewart a Panther through 2017.
Financial terms of the deal weren't immediately available. ESPN, citing sources, reported the deal includes $22.5 million in guaranteed money and is worth $36.5 million overall.
Hurney calls Stewart a "playmaker who came make a difference in games" and that "we have seen the impact he and DeAngelo Williams have had on our team."
The move came before the Panthers opened the preseason Saturday night at home against the Houston Texans.
The decision also closes speculation the Panthers (No. 20 in AP Pro32) might attempt to trade Stewart because of their depth at running back. Stewart was in the last year of his contract.
However, Hurney said that was never an option.
"We didn't even consider it," Hurney said. "He's a valuable player for us. All you have to do is look is look at his production. I think you look at it as if you try to add as many weapons as possible on offense, regardless of position."
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Matt Schaub led one scoring drive and threw an interception in his first action since breaking right foot last season, and the Houston Texans beat the Carolina Panthers 26-13 on Saturday night in the preseason opener for both teams.
Schaub completed three passes for 52 yards on Houston's opening drive, including a 22-yard strike on third down the seam to Owen Daniels to set up a field goal.
Houston's next two possessions ended in turnovers when Arian Foster fumbled and Schaub's pass was intercepted by linebacker Jason Phillips on a bad throw over the middle.
Playing without his top weapon Andre Johnson, Schaub finished 3 of 6 for 52 yards for Houston.
Cam Newton's night also was short and not all that productive for Carolina.