Cam Newton is recovering from foot surgery and has yet to resume football activities. But the former MVP went through a meeting with Matt Rhule, David Tepper and GM Marty Hurney recently and “absolutely” expects to be a Panther next season, he said during an interview on CBS Sports’ Brandon Tierney and Tiki Barber (video link).
While Newton admitted he is disappointed by Ron Rivera being out of the picture but is moving forward with the new regime. One season, at an affordable $18.6MM salary, remains on Newton’s deal. The Panthers could save $19.1MM and potentially accelerate a rebuild by moving on from the 30-year-old passer, but they have not ruled out the prospect of allowing him to play out his contract. They were, however, non-committal about the injured quarterback last month.
The Panthers want to see Newton resume football work in March before making a decision, Dan Graziano and Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com report. Hurney and his new power structure partners would prefer to give Newton a shot and assess the situation at that point. Picking at No. 7, the Panthers are an unrealistic Joe Burrow destination. The Panthers are higher on potential 2021 early-first-round quarterbacks Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields than the non-Burrow 2020 quarterback contingent, per Fowler and Graziano. The Clemson and Ohio State passers, respectively, will generate immense buzz over the next year. It will almost certainly take premium draft position to land either.
Given the early developments in Carolina’s offseason, it would not be especially surprising to see the team trade Newton. However, the former Pro Bowler has a manageable salary thanks to his extension being signed back in 2015. Regardless, Newton represents a key domino in an offseason that will feature several significant quarterback decisions.
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