Panther fans will debate as to whether Jake Delhomme deserves a contract extension given that six-turnover debacle in the playoff loss to Arizona.
But to me, there's no debate: Delhomme should get the extension for 3 reasons.
1) It's the right thing to do. Delhomme is the best QB in franchise history. He has guided the team to the Final 8 of the playoffs or better 3 different times. His arm strength is as good as it has ever been. He's the best leader in that locker room. And, to me, Good Jake still outweighs Bad Jake.
2) It's practical. Delhomme counts a staggering $11 million toward the salary cap in 2009 -- that's not as bad as Julius Peppers, but it's a huge hit. Extend Delhomme even for just a couple of seasons and you can pro-rate that money, possibly cutting the salary impact this season in half. And remember, even if you sign Delhomme to a 4-year extension, that doesn't mean he's necessarily the starting QB for four years -- or even on the team for that long.
3) I don't like the alternatives. Trade for Jay Cutler? No, thanks -- the Panthers don't need that headache. Go into 2010 with Moore and McCown? Scary. Draft a QB and start him? Don't think so.
Jake is far from perfect -- and in the biggest game of the 2008 season, he was horrible. But I remain convinced signing Delhomme, 34, to a longer contract is Carolina's best alternative.