NFC Notes: Newton, Washington, Maclin

Panthers coach Ron Rivera said Cam Newton remains the team’s quarterback of the future despite having his worst season statistically, writes David Newton of “You go back and look at some of the teams that have struggled in the past that had great years [before],” Rivera said on Monday when defending Newton’s performance. “One that pops to mind right away was what happened at Atlanta last year. “A couple of years ago they go to the NFC Championship Game and the next thing you know they’re struggling because they had a lot of things happen.” Despite his struggles, our own Luke Adams recently wrote that it’s probably a matter of when – not if – Newton signs a new long-term deal with the Panthers. More from the NFC..

  • Washington will work out cornerback Keith Lewis on Tuesday, a source tells Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post (via Twitter). Lewis auditioned for the Raiders last week.
  • The NFLPA says Eagles receiver Jeremy Maclin, who broke things off with agent Ben Dogra when he left CAA, is staying with the agency, according to Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News (on Twitter). The pending free agent will now be repped by John Caplin and Tom Condon.
  • 49ers coach Jim Harbaugh could be out of a job after this season, but he’s not sweating it. “I don’t worry about my future. I haven’t participated in that speculation. I have a recessive gene in worrying about my future,” the coach told reporters, including Chris Mortensen of ESPN (via Twitter). Predictably, he also dodged a question asking whether he wanted to return to SF in 2015, as Matt Maiocco tweets.
  • Giants coach Tom Coughlin, rumored to be on the hot seat, refuses to pass the buck. “I accept the full responsibility,and whatever price has to be paid for that responsibility, it starts right here with me,” the coach said, according to Dan Graziano of (via Twitter).
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