Ever since Panthers QB Cam Newton was forced to the sidelines with a Lisfranc injury after his team’s Week 2 loss to the Buccaneers, we heard that the star signal-caller would not undergo surgery. However, now that he has been placed on IR, that could change.
Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports that Newton is indeed considering surgery to repair the injury, and the procedure could take place within the next two weeks. The maximum recovery period is three months, so Newton would be healed in plenty of time for the Panthers to fully consider all of their options with respect to their former No. 1 overall pick.
Rapoport says that a trade is the most likely outcome. Newton is due $18.6MM plus a $2MM option bonus in 2020, so if he is healthy, his contract is movable. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says that there will indeed be a trade market for Newton should Carolina choose to go that route, and La Canfora’s sources suggest that the Panthers could net a first-round pick for the 2015 MVP, or at least several early Day 2 selections.
Meanwhile, Kyle Allen, who has performed so admirably in Newton’s absence, has an interesting contract situation. Because Allen spent most of 2018 on the practice squad, he was cut off his rookie contract, which means he can receive an extension this offseason (a year earlier than most other players who entered the league in 2018). If the Panthers don’t choose to extend him — and if Allen doesn’t force the issue — they will be able to keep him under club control as an exclusive rights free agent in 2020 and 2021 and then as a restricted free agent in 2022.
La Canfora says team owner David Tepper fully appreciates the benefits of having a starting QB on an entry-level contract, so while the jury is still out on Allen, it will be interesting to see whether the club pursues a team-friendly extension after this season. That certainly sounds like a possibility, though Allen’s performance throughout the remainder of 2019 will obviously go a long way towards determining his future in Carolina.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.