Will Sunday be DeAngelo Williams' last day with Panthers?

jjones@charlotteobserver.comDecember 28, 2012 


Carolina Panthers (34) running back DeAngelo Williams cuts back into an opening as the Oakland Raiders defense gives chase during second quarter action on Sunday, December 23, 2012 at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, NC. The Panthers defeated the Raiders 17-6. Jeff Siner - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

JEFF SINER — jsiner@charlotteobserver.com

— Running back DeAngelo Williams could play his last game as a Carolina Panther on Sunday against New Orleans, but he isn’t thinking that way heading into it.

“I don’t go into a game saying this could be this, this could be that. I go in with the intentions of trying to win a football game and that’s that,” Williams said. “If they let me go, release me, trade me or cut me or whatever they want to do, it’s their decision.”

Williams, the franchise’s all-time leading rusher with 5,574 yards since 2006, was the subject of trade speculation earlier in the season. He had been demoted as the starter in favor of Jonathan Stewart after the bye week, but the trade deadline came and went with no movement.

He has started the past four games while Stewart has been sidelined with a high ankle sprain, averaging 58.8 rushing yards and 34.2 receiving yards.

When asked if he wanted to remain with Carolina, Williams was unequivocal.

“If it was left up to me, yeah,” he said. “But it ain’t left up to me, though. I mean I guess the question is, who’s the new (general manager) and what’s his style of offense, what’s his background?”

Though never publicly expressing his feelings when demoted, Williams retweeted fans questioning the rushing attack and the run game philosophy.

Williams signed a five-year, $43 million contract in 2011, with $21 million of it guaranteed. Stewart’s contract was extended before the start of this season, and the two combine for $43.5 million in guaranteed money.

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