Panthers To Sit Cam Newton

The Panthers are effectively out of the playoffs and they’re opting to protect their starting quarterback with two games to go. Cam Newton and his sore shoulder will head to the bench and Taylor Heinicke will take over as the starter for the rest of the year, according to Ian Rapoport of (on Twitter).

Technically, the Panthers have a path to the postseason, but it would require a whole lot of favorable breaks in addition to two more wins. As the New York Times playoff tree shows, Carolina would need to win out and gain the cooperation of at least five other outcomes in order to even have a chance at extending their season. With less than a 1% chance of that happening, the Panthers will not risk the health of their franchise quarterback.

Newton, 29, captured the league’s MVP trophy in 2015 and led the Panthers to a Super Bowl 50 appearance. Since then, Newton and the Panthers have not been able to find the same level of success. The 2018 season was up-and-down for Newton & Co., even though the QB will finish out with a career high 67.9% completion percentage.

The Panthers inked Newton to a five-year, $103.8MM extension in the summer of 2015, so it only makes sense for them to protect their investment. Newton is set to count for a $23.2MM cap figure next year and a $21.1MM figure in 2020. However, next year will be a pivotal year for Newton and his future in Carolina. The Panthers can escape the final year of his deal with just $2MM in dead money, so finances would not prevent them from a reboot under center.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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17 comments on “Panthers To Sit Cam Newton

  1. JJB0811

    I can see a new HC, QB and GM in Carolina this offseason. New owner wants his own hand picked team, not from the previous owner. Cam has declined since the MVP season.

  2. Clark K

    The thing is though if Cam played in the final 2 games this season would be his second best. Completion percentage is 6% higher than his previous best.

    • Steven Juris

      Who cares about completion percentage when you choked on a 6-2 start.

        • Steven Juris

          Those agents can pay him money. He can then play in the agents league of football. He is the one who blew the Saints game by himself. He would rather celebrate plays or talk with the opponent instead of his job.

  3. Julio Franco's Birth Certificate

    I could easily see him joining a new team this offseason. He’s been a huge underachiever in Carolina.

    The Raiders have stockpiled a ton of picks. Would they trade a #1 for Cam and move on from Carr? Would the Bengals trade their #1 and dump their QB?

    Probably. Not to mention Tampa. I could envision a Winston and a #1 or 2nd rounder for Cam. Same type deal with Stafford and the Lions.

    Will be an interesting offseason.

    • Mack83

      I can’t see Carolina sending him to Tampa. Oakland or Cincy? Sure. Honestly, I think Cincy would be your best bet to trade for Cam.

      Not sure I’d do it if I were Cincy, but I’m not in charge.

    • Rocket32

      If the Panthers moved Cam now they’d basically be giving up on next season. Who do they replace him with? This draft class isn’t exactly stacked at the QB position. Easy to just say get rid of him. They have no viable replacement on roster.

  4. JJ Wattcha Going to do Brother

    So is this good or bad for Christian McCaffrey this week in fantasy football? I’m thinking he gets lots of carries and the backup does a lot of little drop off passes.

  5. RockHauler

    Cam has to be one of the most overrated QB’s in the last 20 years. Well, except for RG III, Blake Bortles, Fitzpatrick, Hackenberg, Pryor, Tebow, and Manziel.
    He steals the spotlight from teammates ( how many times has a player scored a TD and he runs up steals the ball from him, and does his Superman thing? ), inaccurate passer, poor decision maker, inconsistent from play to play and game to game and has the attitude of a spoiled child who doesn’t like his birthday present when he loses.
    Let him go and bring in a QB who’s more consistent.

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