Carolina Panthers

Panthers' Kasay one of richest kickers ever

CHARLOTTE -- John Kasay will be one of the oldest kickers -- and among one of the richest -- when he finishes his recently extended contract with the Carolina Panthers.

According to details of Kasay's contract obtained Monday by The Herald, Kasay will remain among the top-paid at his position.

The four-year, $9.2 million extension, which carries him through the 2012 season (when he'll be 43), is a fairly straightforward deal.

He received a $2 million signing bonus (to go along with his $1.5 million base salary this year) and will get base salaries of $1.5 million in 2009, $1.7 million in 2010 and $2 million in both 2011 and 2012. He gets standard $5,000 workout bonuses each year, but there are no roster bonuses or options in future seasons.

The deal carries an annual average of $2.3 million, which should keep Kasay at least in the top 10 highest-paid kickers in the game. It's worth slightly more than Jason Elam's four-year, $9 million deal with Atlanta.

Neither Kasay nor the team would comment. While sentimentality played a factor (he's the last remaining player from their inaugural 1995 team), there were other factors. Primary among them was the thin market at the position in free agency. Tennessee's Rob Bironas and Cincinnati's Shayne Graham likely will be the top names available next offseason, along with Mike Nugent of the New York Jets. Those three should command large deals, but otherwise, the Panthers would be looking at the usual parade of old guys (John Carney, Jason Hanson, Matt Stover) or journeymen (Martin Gramatica, Shaun Suisham, Jay Feely).

Kasay also gets a little bump by acting as his own representative in contract talks, as he's done for the last two contracts he signed. Since he doesn't have to pay an agent fee (which maxes out at 3 percent), he pockets an extra $276,000.

• NO LATE RALLIES: While the nation's whipped into a frenzy about today's election, the Panthers' locker room has been relatively quiet on that front.

Quarterback Jake Delhomme said that's partly a function of the absence of linebacker Brandon Short, the political activist who kept folks stirred up in 2004. Short could talk all day about politics, and often did. He used to chide many of his teammates, once telling Mike Minter "the only reason you're Republican is because you're rich."

Of course, the majority of guys in that locker room are, but Delhomme said it's probably best they're not as politically motivated as in the past.

"Let's be honest, the majority of us don't know what's going on," Delhomme admitted. "I've actually tried to watch all the debates, and I did. I was proud of myself. I was like 'OK, you've said the same thing in all of them,' everybody.

"It's probably a good thing it's not a whole lot of talk about it."

• EXTRA POINTS: Linebacker Jon Beason was named the NFL defensive player for the month for October, after recording 37 tackles and two interceptions. He was the first Panthers linebacker to win the award since Sam Mills in 1996, and he's the first Panthers player to do so since Julius Peppers in Oct. 2006. ...

Beason and Kasay were also named to The Sporting News' midseason all-pro team, the only Panthers among that group.

Coach John Fox offered no injury updates Monday, though there's a sense they should have right tackle Jeff Otah and center Ryan Kalil back. Otah's missed four games and Kalil the last three.

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