Earlier this year, owner David Tepper was non-committal when asked about the longtime franchise star. Given his health situation and the team’s move to part ways with beloved head coach Ron Rivera and tight end Greg Olsen, no one would be shocked to see Newton in a different uniform next year.
“Every player that buys into this, the more they buy into this, the more things can work,” Tepper said in January. “And that’s what we’re going to need here, is buy-in from people, OK? If we can get that kind of buy in sooner rather than later, no matter what the personnel is. We will try to use our personnel to the best possible [advantage], whoever that personnel is.”
Newton is still recovering from foot surgery and waiting for the green light to resume football activities. Thanks to the lingering Lisfranc injury, the former No. 1 overall pick was limited to just two games in 2019. We’ve heard that the Panthers want to see Newton on the practice field before making a determination on his future, but there’s no telling when he’ll be ready. If he can’t prove that he’s healthy within a reasonable timeframe, the Panthers could cut him to save $19.1MM.
Newton, 31 in May, captured the MVP trophy in the 2015 season. And, in 2018, he managed to complete a career-best 67.9% of his throws. Still, it’s been a rocky couple of years for the Panthers and the team seems intent on a rebuild under new head coach Matt Rhule. The Panthers could be in range for some of this year’s top quarterbacks with the No. 7 overall pick, but they’re reportedly higher on the 2021 crop which includes Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields. It’s also worth nothing that LSU’s Joe Burrow will be long gone by the time they take the podium, and many expect Tua Tagovailoa to go No. 5 overall to the Dolphins.
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