Before the season began, the Panthers looked like a team that would have a timeshare at RB. In back to back offseasons they signed both DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart to multi year extensions. To make it even more crowded, they brought in Mike Tolbert as well. Stewart started off the year injured, but now all three backs are healthy. However, with Hurney no longer as the GM, the Panthers are looking to run with a feature back. They want to run with the hot hand instead of splitting carries more evenly. Apparently it will be Stewart who will get the first crack at it.
It is a strategy that makes a lot of sense. Most teams go with a feature back, and the Panthers have had success with it in the past when DeAngelo had a huge season not too long ago. The only problem is that for the next 4 years each RB will be due a hefty salary. Neither one has been great this year either, so it won’t be easy to unload their contracts. Carolina may be stuck with a very expensive backup for years to come.