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John Fox gets new 5 year deal (1 Viewer)

simey

Footballguy
Fox gets new 5-year deal

Old contract torn up; Panthers coach to be among highest paid in NFL

PAT YASINSKAS

pyasinskas@charlotteobserver.com

ORLANDO, Fla. - The Carolina Panthers, a team that believes in continuity, built some more Monday as coach John Fox was given a contract that runs through 2010.

Team President Mark Richardson said the team tore up Fox's previous contract, which had two years remaining, and gave him a five-year deal that will make him one of the league's highest-paid coaches.

"John has done a tremendous job for us," Richardson said. "With John and (general manager) Marty Hurney, we believe we have a great situation that's been obvious with what they've done in the field, and we want that to continue."

Fox was hired in 2002, after the Panthers went 1-15 in George Seifert's final year. At the time, owner Jerry Richardson said the energy had been drained out of the franchise. Fox has changed that dramatically, taking the Panthers to a Super Bowl and two NFC Championship Games.

"Doing the extension now was a very classy move on the part of the Richardsons," Fox said. "My family and I are very appreciative of it. It makes it easier to go out in free agency and recruit when the players know you have a five-year commitment to a place."

The financial terms of Fox's deal weren't available, but it's believed he'll average somewhere close to $5 million a season. His original contract was for $1 million a year and he was bumped up to about $3 million a season after taking the Panthers to the Super Bowl following the 2003 season.

"Just like the last time, the Richardsons came to us about the extension," Fox's agent, Bob LaMonte said. "They're a very classy organization and everyone involved in this wanted to make sure John is with the Panthers for a very long time."

Fox and Hurney, who worked together in San Diego, have a strong bond and have built the Panthers around a philosophy of building their core through the draft and using free agency as a supplement. Hurney remains under contract through 2009, after getting an extension last year.

"It's tremendous that John's going to be here for that period of time and, hopefully, longer," Hurney said. "Since the first day he came in for the interview, it was obvious he was a perfect fit for us. He understands what the Richardsons want and what our organization is about. Obviously, he's a tremendous coach and person and it's fun to come to work with him every day."

Fox said his dream would be for the situation to evolve into one like Pittsburgh's where Bill Cowher has been the coach for 14 years.

"A long stay is important to success, whether it's as a player, an assistant or a head coach," Fox said. "Continuity is part of being successful. You look at what Bill's been able to do in Pittsburgh. They've been knocking on the door almost every year and eventually you break it down. We're trying to build that continuity in Carolina and this is an important step."

By the Numbers

$7 MILLION

How much the Seahawks will pay Mike Holmgren this season, most in the NFL . He has one year and $7 million left on the eight-year, $32 million deal he signed in 1999.

$2.8 MILLION

Average salary for NFL coaches in 2005.

$5 MILLION

Amount John Fox is believed to now average for Carolina

 

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