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Carolina Panthers, NFL Back To Work

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Tuesday the Carolina Panthers can begin officially negotiating a contract with first round draft pick Cam Newton. It's back to business for the NFL after its players and owners reached a deal this afternoon to end a four-and-a-half month lockout. With the new deal, the players will get a little less of the league's revenue but a little more rest. Charlotte Observer: Lockout Over, Frenzy Begins For Panthers, NFL Carolina Panthers defensive end Charles Johnson (95), celebrating with Everette Brown last season, will be a highly coveted free agent. The Panthers will try to re-sign Johnson, who had a career high 11.5 sacks last season. Division-rival Atlanta also wants Johnson and that could drive up the asking price. JEFF SINER - jsiner@charlotteobserver.com Players and owners used to split about $9 billion revenue in half, but now the owners will get 53 percent and the players will get 47 percent. For their part, players will have fewer offseason workouts and regular season practices when they're wearing pads. Players say limiting the number of those practices could help reduce injuries. The agreement also includes a new rookie wage scale. The Panthers can officially sign their rookies tomorrow. They took Heisman Trophy winner Cam Newton with the first overall pick in the draft. The Panthers and the rest of the teams can also begin negotiating deals with free agents and working on trades tomorrow. The Panthers will likely hear from several teams about the future of Steve Smith. The Charlotte Observer reports the team's leading receiver has asked to be traded. The Panthers' training camp begins Friday, and their first preseason game is August 13 at home against the New York Giants.