While the Carolina Panthers did suffer their first loss of the season this week, the Panthers organization may have picked the perfect time to deliver some great news to their fan base and take the focus off of their defeat. With quite a few key players on this team playing in the last year of their previous contracts, the Panthers front office has been busy trying to extend this group of players and avoid any offseason stand offs. Here is an excerpt from the Panthers press release: The focus of these extension talks were certainly on the group of 6 players, that have been key starters this season for the Panthers, who were on the last year of multi-year deals. Equally important to the team as well as popular with the Carolina faithful, the Panthers organization is very pleased to announce that contract extension agreements have been reached with each of these outstanding players. The following players comprise the group of 6 key resignings referenced in the above quote: DE - Charles Johnson Johnson has been a standout for the Panthers for many years now, and this extension is the 2nd big contract he has been awarded by the team for his efforts. Having made the Pro Bowl in each of the previous two seasons (played), and well on his way to another Pro Bowl season in 2016, Johnson doesn't appear to be slowing down at all. With a 5 year $40 Million extension, Johnson has said he fully expects to retire a Panther, as he will be 35 when this contract runs it's course. DE - Kahlbuto Williams In the last year of his rookie contract, after being selected #11 overall in the 2013 draft, Williams is already mentioned among the elite defensive ends in the league in only his 4th season. Having been voted the top NFC defensive lineman in only his 2nd season (2014), some within the organization feared he would certainly want to test free agency. Williams has publicly said all along that he wanted to stay with the Panthers and just wanted a fair deal, not to hold the team up for a ransom. Williams proved to be a man of his word as his agent and the Panthers front office quickly hammered out the terms of a 5 year $35 Million extension that is viewed as fair for both sides. At just 24 years of age, the extension should keep Williams in a Panthers uniform throughout the rest of his 20s. MLB - Jon Beason Not only the leader of this defensive, but many consider him to be the heart and soul of it as well. There were rumors prior to this season that the Panthers were trying to trade Beason and move Luke Kuechly into his spot. Carolina fans were not happy with the persistent rumors and some even started petitions for the Panthers to keep the veteran linebacker. While the front office made the fans happy in inking Beason to a 5 year $42 Million extension, and Beason has been playing at a high level yet again this season, it is worth noting that only $5 Million is guaranteed in his new contract. With Beason already on the wrong side of 30, and with his replacement already being on the roster, one has to wonder if he will ever see the end of this contract wearing the Carolina black & blue. OLB - Terrell Reese Another young player in the last year of his rookie contract. Reese has been a pleasant surprise after being drafted with the last pick of the 3rd round in the 2013 draft. Reese has been a starter from day one and has shown steady improvement playing alongside Beason and Kuechly. The exact terms of his extension were not made available, but it's been said to be a 6 year extension that is very team friendly. While he may never become a bona fide star in this league, Reese is only 25 this year, and the ability to lock up a young quality starter into the next decade has to be considered a win for the Panthers front office. C - Ryan Kalil Finding your franchise quarterback is of paramount importance in this league. After you have done that, you must be sure to protect your investment. The Panthers have fielded one of the top offensive lines in the league in recent season to do just that. There is no bigger key to the line than Pro Bowl center Ryan Kalil. By signing Kalil to a 6 year $48 million extension, the Panthers have the ability to keep the captain of their offensive line in place for the rest of his career. FB - Mike Tolbert The Panthers front office and Tolbert have had quite the contentious relationship in recent months. With Tolbert developing into a Pro Bowl fullback, just as his contract was expiring, he was looking to get paid in a big way. Reports were that Tolbert and his agent weren't satisfied with top fullback money and wanted him to be paid like an elite halfback in this league. The Panthers rejected that notion and slapped the franchise tag on the disgruntled Tolbert. After holding out all of training camp, without signing his franchise tender, the long term outlook for Tolbert and the Panthers did not look good. Tolbert finally signed his franchise tender in the preseason and came to work looking to be in the best shape of his career. The organization and it's fans were thrilled to see the road grading fullback return to the backfield. After Tolbert had a falling out with his previous agent over bad advice, he hired new counsel that immediately went to work with the Panthers on a long term extension. The two sides reached an agreement that made the 31 year old Tolbert one of the top paid fullbacks in the league, with a 6 year $27 million extension. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- The Carolina Panthers can now go into the next offseason with no big question marks on their own roster, and will have the luxury of focusing on improving the team via the draft and free agency.