Carolina Panthers Cam Newton said during a radio interview that he does not plan to hold out to pressure the team into giving him a long-term contract extension, ESPN.com reported.
Newton recently completed his third season in the NFL. Under the collective bargaining agreement, Newton is eligible for an extension of his original four-year contract. The Panthers also have the option of picking up a fifth-year option on the quarterback's current contract.
The Panthers went 12-4 this past season, and Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman and coach Ron Rivera have said Newton is the Panthers' franchise quarterback. However, there have been no signs that negotiations are underway on an extension or that the Panthers plan to pick up the option.
In any case, Newton said on the "Dan Patrick Show" on Monday that he does not plan to hold out to try to get a new contract.
"I'm not worried about contract discussions right now," he said on the show. "My main focus is just becoming the better player I can become."
He noted that Russell Wilson led the Seattle Seahawks to a Super Bowl victory in his second season as an NFL quarterback.
"Going into my fourth year, I want to make that leap, make that stride to be a marquee quarterback in this league," Newton said.
Newton's 2014 cap number of $7,008,113 ranks 19th among NFL quarterbacks. He is well below the average pay for the league's top 10 quarterbacks, which is $17.4 million.
Newton was the top overall draft pick in 2011, but he ranks fifth on the Panthers in 2014 salary, behind defensive end Charles Johnson, center Ryan Kalil, tight end Greg Olsen and safety Charles Godfrey.
Arizona Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson suggested he might hold out to try to get a contract extension, but Newton said he would not go that route.
"I think our positions are completely different," Newton said on the radio show. "Being the leader of this team, I don't think that would be a good look for me. Not taking anything away from Patrick -- he's an unbelievable player and an elite corner in the league -- but there's some things cornerbacks can do that quarterbacks can't."