Thursday, April 23, 2009

Extending Jake the right move

Jake Delhomme got a new five-year contract today. And while that will rub a lot of Jake haters the wrong way -- particularly after that six-turnover playoff monstrosity that Delhomme must live with all this offseason -- it was the right move for the Panthers.

Delhomme not only was going to count $11 million against this season's salary cap (this will drop that figure by at least a couple of million), but he also was going into the last year of his current deal. He's 34, but a quarterback's longevity in the league is different than almost any other position besides kicker and long snapper. Many QBs are productive into their late 30s.

Despite Delhomme's "Bad Jake" persona and his occasional awful games, I've long been an admirer of his moxie. He's passionate, enthusiastic, accountable and has a better arm than he's given credit for having.

No.17 had the worst game of his life in that Arizona nastiness, yes, but he's also won five playoff games at Carolina and would have been the Super Bowl MVP against New England after the 2003 season if only the Panthers' defense had been a little stouter.

Will Delhomme actually play this five-year contract out to its completion? I would doubt it. But this gives Carolina stability at the game's most important position for at least a couple more years -- I could easily see Delhomme being the starter here through the 2010 or 2011 season. This extension will be a controversial move, but in my view, it's a smart one.

26 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a surprise that you think this is a good deal. About as surprising as Stan Olsen writing another column about old baseball players.

allredjedi said...

I hate Jake haters!!

Everyone wants a Peyton Manning, and who wouldn't. But I love Jake for what he does for this team. It does not matter if the fans all don't love him. The simple fact is the TEAM loves him, looks on him as a true leader, and most importantly, they BELIEVE in him. It is why Jake is in the Top 10 of all QBs in the league since 1996 for fourth quarter comebacks. The team believes at crunch time, Jake can win it.

There are only a handful of teams out there that can say they have a respected, accountable leader at that position who can win football games. Jake was not hired to carry the load. He was brought in to manage a run-first offense. The organization only has given him an offensive line and RBs in two of his six seasons to be a run-first team. In each of those, we had division titles and great records (2003 and 2008).

Give Jake a line and a strong running game and his passion, leadership, and ability to pull some games out of the gutter at times will be better than most other QB situations in the NFL.

Jake has proven himself to be a QB we can be proud of and I for one continue to be 100% behind him. If we can just add a top 10 defense to the offense we had last year, we can make another strong run at the playoffs, even with this tough schedule. We need a stronger pass rush and things will do just fine.

Anonymous said...

Its obvious these first two guys know nothing about football!!

Anonymous said...

How disappointing. Guess we can expect a few more years of mediocrity and running the ball up the gut on 3 and long. Making it to the playoffs must be enough for the organization, becasue we found out you can't win the title with Jake under center. Congrats to the front office.

Anonymous said...

Smart move to save cap room, dumb move to guarantee Jake $20 million. We will ultimately give up Pep for less than he's worth and there are far too many other holes to fill to spend that money on Jake. Jake cannot win the big game and we have no one in the wings to replace him. Mediocrity is here to stay. We'll be luck to get the wildcard this year with Atlanta and Tampa making smart moves. And Scott you really need to go watch that Superbowl loss again if you think the defense lost that game....

Anonymous said...

Jake have prove that he can't win that big game. Yes he played good in 2003 but look what he have done in the playoff last year. The was the year to win the championship. The team was clicking on the offensive side the entire year but in that play off game the Cardinals shook up Jake. Jake did not keep head his after the second offensive stand. I am just an youth football coach my game plan would have been the same PUT PRESSURE ON JAKE...

Walter said...

Sure Jake threw 5 INTs in that game, but you guys are overlooking how bad our defense was down the stretch, and in the playoffs. The Cards really exposed our D for what it was.

I'm glad we re-signed him, but don't know why we had to give him so much guaranteed money, and such a long contract.

David H. said...

Walter - "The Cards really exposed our D for what it was."????

No defense in the NFL can withstand 6 turnovers by the offense and Jake committed 5 of them.

He is a good Quarterback because he is a nothing Quarterback. His job is to handoff the ball 75% of the time and throw 25% of the time to Steve Smith. A real quarterback would have had the Panthers in the Super Bowl and would have won the Championship.

So much for 5 more years and $20 million more wasted dollars.

So the Panthers might be good again in 5 or 6 years.

Anonymous said...

Notice how Scott did not mention that the deal is $42 million over 5 years. In case you are wondering how they came up with that amount, they are paying him $1 for every interception he is expected to throw and $1 for every tantrum he is expected to throw....over 5 years that comes to $42 million. Nice move Panthers.

Walter said...

David-we gave up almost thirty points a game in the last quarter of the season. Do you know how hard it is to win in the NFL when you giving the other team that many points? And these were games where Jake was taking relatively good care of the ball.

David said...

Those of you complaining obviously don't understand the salary cap. This year he was to make around $11 million. Under this deal, he only counts $9M per year - roughly. Therefore, we save $2 million this year and next. Furthermore, no money is guaranteed in the NFL (other than the $20 million stated in his contract). Therefore, even if he plays this season and next at $9M per season, we can release him in two years by just paying him the additional $2M and the remaining $22 is completely erased. So chill out. Smart economics by the Panthers.

Anonymous said...

Hahaha you guys think 12-4 in the NFL is "mediocre"

When fans of established football teams call Panthers fans stupid and fairweather, I try to defend Panthers fans since I know sports and I'm dedicated to my hometown team. But you idiots leave me no defense to their arguments. You must be Tarheels fans who freak out and complain any year you don't win a national title

Anonymous said...

I don't know if anyone was watching the same games last season as I was, but I think Jake was doing an awesome job on offense. Especially coming off the Tommy John surgery. When the defense failed to show up killed several games that should have been won. Pass defense thoughout the season was non-existant. You can not play football, allow your opponent 400 yards of offense,trade touchdowns, and expect to win. Jake does his best with what the defense gives him, but when they put him in the hole, he has to take chances on a possible big play.
Like everyone who was at the play off game when Jake and company took the field and quickly scored, I thought we were off and running. Then the defense immediately turned around and gave up a touchdown, I knew then we were in trouble, and I guess that Jakes fault too. The biggest problem in the play off game was a failure to cover Larry Fitzgerald. He was wide open to many times and the defense failed to adjust to that. Additionally where was the blitz on Warner?

Anonymous said...

Great move by the Panthers. Jake is our starter this year, and who knows beyond that. Everyone may remember the bad game against the Cardinals, but I remember many more games where Jake has pulled our tails out of the fire and led us to victory. Here's to a good "bounce-back" season with Jake at the helm.

andrew said...

Once again,this column represents the weakness of the media in Charlotte. In any other major city, a column would have been written about how terrible a move this was and that GM Marty Hurney should be fired This contract guarantees Jake $20 million and guarantees the fans mediocrity for the next 3-4 years. Why are the Panthers so tied to Jake Delhomme? Every successful franchise in the NFL understand when it is time to cut players. It makes me sick, especially when the Falcons have such a smart GM and we are stuck with an old sports writer for a GM. Marty Hurney needs to go. Fire Hurney!

J said...

What do you mean Jake can't win the big game? ALl you remember is the Arizona playoff game. How about the first Arizona game last year? How about the Chicago game, Green Bay game, and second New Orleans game? The only "big" games Jake was terrible in were the Arizona playoff game last year and the 2005 NFC title game in Seattle. There is much more evidence that he does well in big games than there is that he does not.

All that being said, they WAY overpaid him. And they had better get busy finding the next QB. But this was a good move for the present.

Anonymous said...

Everyone is always saying how fair weather Panthers fans are and how they dont understand football. In a lot of cases that is true, but this team is still really young, and it's fanbase is still growing. Sure the Steelers, Cowboys, etc. have better fans. They have been around for fifty plus years. Also Charlotte's population has almost doubled since the Panthers have been here, so obviously you have to expect to see a lot of fans of other teams at Panthers games. All I am saying is I respect those other teams and what they have accomplished, so why do their fans hate the Panthers with such ferver?

Could it be because they resent the success the Panthers have had in their young history?

Anonymous said...

Bottom line, if Jake (or any other quarterback has time) he is good, but Jake's fault is that if you can get to him early he gets "happy feet" and falls apart. We need a more "mobile" and stable quarterback when our offensive line is not playing up to par!

Anonymous said...

I don't hate Jake. He's a good QB (not great, but good enough to win). The problem is Bad Jake. You can count on him to show at least 2 or 3 games a season and they're always critical games. There's nothing they can do about it and he drags everybody down with him.

How can they be successful if they throw away 2 or 3 critical games every season? Those are the ones they have to win and Jake won't get them there.

Anonymous said...

Does anybody think Steve Smith is going to hang out with Jake until 2014?

Anonymous said...

I like Jake but name another QB that has had 5 turnovers in the playoffs. Several of the games that Jake won last year could have went either way and were just pulled out by luck. He has one of the best receivers in the league and a good running game with Smash and Dash he should have kicked butt last year. Anytime Jake was pressured last year he fell apart and I don't think that will change.

Panther fan in Little Rock said...

Jake is the man!!

Anonymous said...

i am not a carolina fan so i am not as informed as you guys...but out of curiosity...what other options do you have at qb? is there someone that is available that could do better than jake over the next two seasons? it doesn't seem like you guys have a "qb in waiting," so this contract basically puts you in a better financial system while you try to draft your next qb. if i'm wrong fine, but that is just an outsiders perspective.

Bobcats Season(ed) Ticket Holder said...

It is funny, the Bobcats are the team to watch now. My goodness. With the best pair of runningbacks in the league, an incredible receiver and a legendary kicker...we get a guy with "moxie". Great. I admire his moxie too...as a backup. He doesn't have the raw tools to be highly effective. If he didn't have the aforementioned personnel his game would look dramatically worse. Steve has to make redonkulous catches of his rushed throws off his back foot. Ack! I just can not believe it. We've gone through season after season of the Jeckyl & Hyde crap and I knew for certain finally we were getting off this rollercoaster after that last game. Nope. 5 years. Many millions. Wow. And I like the guy, but he has no business being our starting quarterback. He is mediocre with tremendous talent around him.

Anonymous said...

Michael Vick. Save us.

Buck said...

Half the teams in the NFL are looking for a quarterback. They would love to have Jake but Carolina has him. Every quarterback in the playoffs but one lost its last game. Does that mean they shoud jettison their quareterback? Also who do you get to replace Jake. Teams like the Raiders and Lions have been looking for years for a quarterback. If we followed the advice of the Jake-haters, we would be just like those teams. Sadly they are just emotional crybabies without any solutions.