Staying Delhomme: Panthers QB Signs Five-Year Extension

Austin PennyAnalyst IApril 23, 2009

CHARLOTTE - OCTOBER 26:  Quarterback Jake Delhomme #17 of the Carolina Panthers calls the play at the line of scrimmage during the game against of the Arizona Cardinals at Bank of America Stadium on October 26, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by: Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
The Carolina Panthers have signed veteran quarterback Jake Delhomme to a five-year extension, a source close to the team reported Thursday afternoon.
The signing ends speculation about whether the Panthers will look to head in a different direction at quarterback after Delhomme's five-interception debacle in the team's surprising playoff loss to Arizona.
Many fans, and some pundits around the league, have called for Delhomme's head during this offseason, claiming Matt Moore is ready to take over the reigns. Others believe the team should have made a move to acquire a quarterback in free agency. 
The Panthers, however, have re-solidified their confidence in Delhomme, who has led the franchise to its one and only Super Bowl appearance and is coming off of a 12-win season.
The deal is reported to be worth around $42.5 million, with $20 million in guarantees.  This frees up some cap room for the Panthers, who are burdened by Julius Peppers' $16.7 million franchise tag.
Delhomme was scheduled to make $6.325 million in the final year of his old contract next season, but his cap number was $11.091 million—virtually handcuffing the Panthers in their quest to improve upon a roster that was oh-so-close to taking the franchise back to the promised land.