Originally created 09/13/03

Sauerbrun signs four-year extension with Panthers



CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Carolina punter Todd Sauerbrun signed a four-year contract extension with the Panthers on Friday. Sauerbrun, a two-time Pro Bowler, had been trying to get a new deal for some time.

When the sides couldn't agree, he was designated Carolina's franchise player. Then he signed a one-year extension during training camp that was to pay him $1.47 million this season.

Terms of the new deal were not disclosed.

"We are thrilled to have Todd signed for the next five years," general manager Marty Hurney said. "He is an extremely valuable player to our organization and anytime you have a player of Pro Bowl caliber on your team, you want to keep him."

Sauerbrun, an All-Pro the past two seasons, averaged 45.5 yards per punt last year with a net of 37.5 yards. His 31 punts inside the 20 tied for second in the NFL and his 104 punts also set a Panthers team record for most punts in a season.

Two years ago, Sauerbrun was selected to his first Pro Bowl after averaging 47.5 yards on 93 punts with a net average of 38.9 yards and 35 punts inside the 20 while leading the NFL in gross average, net average and ranking second for punts inside the 20.

His gross average of 47.5 yards in 2001 was the highest in the NFL since 1963 when Yale Lary of the Detroit Lions averaged 48.9 yards, the second-highest average for a single season in NFL history.