Running back Jonathan Stewart is coming back to the NFL for his 11th season, and he will reportedly play for the New York Giants after spending the first 10 years of his career with the Carolina Panthers.
On Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN first reported the expected signing, which can't become official until free agency opens Wednesday. Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reported the two-year deal is worth $6.9 million in base salary, with $2.95 million guaranteed and a maximum value of $8.25 million.
Carolina selected Stewart with the No. 13 overall pick in 2008 out of Oregon, and he became the Panthers' all-time rushing leader with 7,318 rushing yards in his career. He also finished with 1,295 receiving yards and 58 total touchdowns during his tenure.
Stewart was a 2015 Pro Bowler when he tallied 989 rushing yards and seven total touchdowns as the Panthers made the Super Bowl. He was also impressive in 2009, which was his only season with more than 1,000 rushing yards as he posted 1,133 and 10 touchdown runs.
The Oregon product has been a steady and consistent force throughout his career with seven seasons of more than 700 rushing yards and is a powerful runner who serves as a reliable option inside the red zone and when Carolina needs a critical short-yardage pickup.
However, he was inconsistent at best in 2017, and Scott Fowler of the Charlotte Observer even called for his benching in November after a particularly rough stretch when he failed to run for 50 yards in seven of eight games and even tallied minus-four rushing yards against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Despite some struggles last season, Stewart is still one of the best offensive players in Panthers history after consistently serving as the top running back option for the better part of a decade.
He will have the opportunity to add to his individual totals in 2018 in a different uniform after the Panthers elected to turn elsewhere at the running back position.
Stewart will likely compete with Wayne Gallman and Paul Perkins for the Giants' starting job during training camp and the preseason. All three backs are probably going to get their fair share of work throughout 2018 as New York is probably going to lean on a rotation more than a single workhorse.