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.