The Panthers plan to move forward with Cam Newton as their starting quarterback, sources tell NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). Things can change in the coming months, RapSheet cautions, but that’s the Panthers’ mindset at this time.
There’s been lots of talk about a potential trade of the one-time MVP, but it’ll be months before Newton’s surgically-repaired foot is game-ready, and that hurts his potential trade value. The expectation is that the QB will be able to pass his physical by March, however.
The Panthers are in the midst of a rebuild after dismissing longtime head coach Ron Rivera and parting ways with tight end Greg Olsen. The new regime likes Newton though – Rapoport hears that Rhule & Co. have been encouraged by Newton’s approach to rehab and his decision to stay in the Charlotte area throughout the process. With so much changing on both sides of the ball, Rhule likes the idea of keeping his signal caller in place.
Newton missed all but two games last season, but he’d represent a solid value if he’s healthy. He’s set to earn just $18.6MM in base salary this season, which would make him a manageable bridge option for a younger QB in 2021. This year, the Panthers hold the No. 7 pick, where they’d likely see at least two QBs taken ahead of them. Moving up is an option, of course, but it’d be costly, and the Panthers will have many more needs to address in the lower reaches of the draft.
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