The Carolina Panthers want running back Jonathan Stewart around beyond 2017.
NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Friday that Carolina extended Stewart's contract one year, meaning he's signed through 2018.
The 30-year-old running back was slated to count $8.5 million against the salary cap in 2017. The extension alleviates part of that hefty number this season, while giving Stewart some security for next year.
This type of extension for a veteran is a common move for teams to earn cap space in the short term. What it secures, is that Stewart -- a player some thought could be a surprise cap casualty -- is in the Panthers' plans at least this season and perhaps beyond.
Stewart finished as the #28 fantasy running back (PPR) even though he missed three games and a large portion of a fourth. Stewart's 2017 value will depend in large part on what the Panthers do in the draft (and the rest of free agency).