Panthers looking to keep DeAngelo Williams

Derick E. Hingle-USA TODAY Sports

The Carolina Panthers are reportedly going to try and keep both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart in 2013.

The Carolina Panthers are likely to shed some cap space in the form of roster cuts this offseason, but according to Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer, that shedding won't include running back DeAngelo Williams.

Person, citing a source with knowledge of the situation, suggests that the Panthers hope to carry both Williams and fellow running back Jonathan Stewart on the roster in 2013. The report also states that the Panthers believe they'd be able to keep Williams at his current contract numbers, which have him earning approximately $5 million this year with a cap figure of $8.2 million.

That would be interesting to see, given that the Panthers are about $10 million over the projected 2013 salary cap as it currently stands. The report does say that restructuring Williams' deal is a possibility prior to the start of the new league year at 4 p.m. ET on March 12.

Stewart was essentially given the reigns last year, but he went down with an injury and Williams took back over. At 29 years old to Stewart's 25, it's clear that the Panthers believe Stewart to be their running back of the future. That being said, they both are signed through at least 2015.

On top of that, Williams looked good last season. He rushed for 737 yards on 174 carries and scored five touchdowns. He's slowing down, but he remains a solid option, especially given that Stewart is returning from his injuries.

There was talk of Williams possibly being traded near the deadline last season, but that didn't go anywhere prior to the deadline hitting. One possibility is that the Panthers restructure Williams' deal this season and test Stewart's injury, and if he's good to go, they could trade him prior to next season's deadline.

That's just speculation, of course. All we know right now is that the Panthers would certainly like to have both running backs available. Whether or not they'll be able to do that is still up in the air given their salary cap struggles.

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