Inside the Panthers

Former Panthers RB Jonathan Stewart not done yet. He has NFL deal in place for 2018.

Former Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart, who was cut two weeks ago, will sign with the New York Giants on Wednesday when the NFL’s free agency period begins.
Former Carolina Panthers running back Jonathan Stewart, who was cut two weeks ago, will sign with the New York Giants on Wednesday when the NFL’s free agency period begins. AP

Two weeks after he was cut by the Carolina Panthers, it appears running back Jonathan Stewart has found a new home.

According to ESPN, Carolina’s all-time leading rusher is expected to sign with the New York Giants. The signing cannot be completed until Wednesday at 4 p.m when the official NFL league year begins.

Stewart will reunite with former Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman, who was recently hired to the same position with the Giants. Gettleman, who was fired in July 2017, gave Stewart a one-year contract extension several months before he was relieved of his job.

By releasing Stewart, who turns 31 later in March, the Panthers saved $3.7 million in salary cap space. The Panthers also used the No. 8 overall draft selection last year on running back Christian McCaffrey.

The details of Stewart’s new contract have not been reported.

The Giants were 26th in rushing yards and tied for 28th in rushing touchdowns in 2017, so Stewart fills a need at running back to some extent. The Giants also own the No. 2 selection in the upcoming NFL Draft and have been rumored to be interested in Penn State running back and top prospect Saquon Barkley.

How effective Stewart will be remains a question. Last season was arguably the worst of his career, as he averaged a career-worst 3.4 yards per rush and collected only 680 yards on the ground. He did score six rushing touchdowns, but three of them came in a single game, against the Vikings in December.

In his 10 professional seasons, Stewart rushed for 7,318 yards and 51 scores on the ground.

Now that he’s reuniting with Gettleman in New York, he’ll have a chance to add to those totals.

Brendan Marks: 704-358-5889, @brendanrmarks

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