Cam Newton

POLL: Where Will Cam Newton Sign?

The quarterback carousel has mostly come to a stop, and a few big names were left without starting gigs when the dust settled. The highest profile signal-caller on the open market is Cam Newton, and it’s going to be very interesting to see where he ends up signing.

Newton won an MVP and led the Panthers to the Super Bowl in 2015, but his past two campaigns have been derailed by injuries. Last year he was limited to only two games because of a foot injury. The year before that he started the season off hot, but fell apart down the stretch once he started having shoulder issues. Since teams are unable to host free agents on visits due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, it might be harder for Newton to find a home for a while with teams’ doctors being unable to examine him in person.

The Chargers are the betting favorite at sportsbooks offering odds on where Newton will end up, and it’s not hard to see why. Los Angeles is arguably a quarterback away from being a legit Super Bowl contender, and on paper they might have the most talented defense in the league. Tyrod Taylor is currently slated as the team’s starter and while he has been solid at times in the past with Buffalo, he doesn’t have the upside that Newton does.

The Chargers own the sixth overall pick however, and they’ve been linked to drafting a passer in the first-round. We also heard a couple weeks ago that they were no longer looking to add a veteran after they whiffed on Tom Brady, although that was before Newton became a free agent.

The Jaguars are another option, as they’re currently rolling with second-year player Gardner Minshew at quarterback and not much else. Minshew showed flashes last year, but he was hardly consistent. The Redskins are another conceivable suitor as they could reunite Newton with his old coach Ron Rivera, although we heard before he was released that they weren’t expected to be interested.

The Dolphins don’t have a firmly entrenched starter right now, but they’re widely expected to draft a quarterback in the first-round. If they surprisingly decide to pass on one, Newton could make sense as an upgrade over Ryan Fitzpatrick. Then there’s the Patriots. New England has a lot of uncertainty at the position after Brady’s departure, and all they have right now is the unproven Jarrett Stidham and Brian Hoyer. Newton being paired with Bill Belichick would certainly be interesting, to say the least.

So where will the former first overall pick be playing next year? Vote in the poll below (link for app users) and show your work in the comments!

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Panthers Release Cam Newton

The Panthers’ efforts to trade Cam Newton evidently did not take off. They are expected to release the former MVP as soon as Tuesday, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Carolina made the move official Tuesday afternoon.

While the Panthers attempted to deal Newton to the Bears and Chargers, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, they could not find a taker. Newton had one season remaining on a deal he signed back in 2015. He was set to earn $18.6MM in 2020 base salary; Carolina will take on just $2MM in dead money for releasing Newton but clear $19.1MM in cap space. The Bears subsequently traded for Nick Foles instead, and the Chargers appear focused on the draft. After pursuing Tom Brady, the Bolts no longer intend to add a veteran quarterback.

A Newton release was the expected outcome, given the unique complications this offseason presents for the Panthers to trade their three-time Pro Bowl passer. This will end a nine-year run for Newton in Charlotte. The move also comes less than a month after Matt Rhule indicated he wanted to keep Newton for the 2020 season. Carolina moved swiftly in another direction after that pronouncement.

The No. 1 overall pick in 2011, Newton fairly quickly solidified himself as the best quarterback in Panthers history. He helped the Panthers to four playoff berths in a five-season span and piloted them to Super Bowl 50 in 2015. However, injuries intervened in the late 2010s and will lead the former superstar to the open market for the first time.

Newton, 30, is recovering from the Lisfanc surgery he underwent in December. The NFL’s all-time QB rushing-touchdown king has not been fully healthy since early in the 2018 season, when he suffered a shoulder injury. Newton is not expected to be game-ready for months.

Considering the changes the COVID-19 pandemic has made to this NFL offseason, Newton could be in limbo. Teams are not permitted to host free agents on visits, and while third-party doctors can still examine players, any franchise signing off on a Newton contract would probably want to put its medical staff to work on the injury-prone passer.

Because of this strange scenario, the Panthers were able to pry a fifth-rounder from the Redskins for Kyle Allen on Monday and will be forced to release Newton. Carolina’s quarterback depth chart now sits at Teddy BridgewaterP.J. WalkerWill Grier. The Panthers officially signed Walker on Tuesday morning. Bridgewater signed his three-year, $63MM deal Monday night, and David Newton of ESPN.com notes the Panthers will not carry both Bridgewater and Newton’s salaries. The Newton-to-Bridgewater transition will begin Tuesday.

Newton had regressed considerably since the Panthers’ Super Bowl 50 loss, ranking 30th in QBR since 2016, but the nine-year veteran showed promise in Norv Turner‘s offense early in 2018 certainly would have brought back a trade package of some sort in a normal NFL offseason. The former Heisman winner now must continue his rehab on his own and do so in one of the most uncertain times to go about a rehab effort. The NFL may well end up canceling all offseason activities due to conoravirus-related uncertainty, so it might be difficult for Newton to land a noteworthy contract for the 2020 season.

Carolina will have parted ways with Newton, Greg Olsen, Luke Kuechly, Trai Turner and Mario Addison this offseason. Rhule’s team will certainly look different when the Panthers are permitted to reconvene under their new coach.

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Cam Newton Passes Physical

Cam Newton is now a free agent, with the Panthers choosing to release him and move forward with Teddy Bridgewater. Newton checked off a key box in his effort to secure a starting job elsewhere this week.

The former MVP took a physical on Monday in Atlanta and passed, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets, adding that Newton’s injured foot and shoulder “checked out well.” The Panthers and Newton’s agency co-coordinated the physical.

Newton passing a physical is certainly notable news as he gears up to land another gig. Teams are not, however, allowed to visit with players nor can their medical staffs examine free agents due to COVID-19. That may make the 30-year-old quarterback wait a bit. It was also reported a few weeks ago Newton is a few months away from being game-ready, so it will be interesting to see how he progresses and whether that progress will produce a near-future agreement for the accomplished quarterback to resume his career.

The longtime Panthers starter joins Jameis Winston as former No. 1 overall quarterbacks now in free agency. While the Chargers rebuffed Panthers overtures at a Newton trade, they are a logical suitor. Although the Bolts are not actively looking for a veteran passer, a franchise with perhaps the smallest known local fanbase in modern NFL history is set to move into a new stadium with Tyrod Taylor as its starting quarterback. The Bolts are also in the mix for a quarterback at No. 6, so Newton would likely have to be on board with being a bridge quarterback if a Los Angeles path opened.

New England may be posturing, but the early word points to the Patriots going with either Jarrett Stidham or Brian Hoyer. The Jaguars traded Nick Foles but are apparently rolling with 2019 sixth-rounder Gardner Minshew. The Broncos have, likewise, committed to Drew Lock after years of bringing in veterans. The Panthers offered Newton to the Bears, but they then acquired Foles.

Where Newton lands will be one of the more interesting pieces left in this offseason’s quarterback puzzle. While he has accomplished far more than Winston, the latter has no injury history.

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Redskins Not Expected To Pursue Cam Newton, Jameis Winston

While Dwayne Haskins‘ status is murkier than it would have been had the Redskins retained Bruce Allen, the Ron Rivera regime’s plan does not include giving Cam Newton a chance to reignite his career.

The Redskins have been linked to Tua Tagovailoa at No. 2 overall, but they will not add a high-profile veteran quarterback. Even if the Panthers cut Newton, the Redskins are not expected to be interested, John Keim of ESPN.com notes. The same goes for Jameis Winston, who is now in search of a new team after the Buccaneers landed Tom Brady.

Washington does not want to put Haskins in a position where he would be the clear backup, Keim adds. That would be the case if Newton and Rivera reunited. Each of Newton’s 124 starts came when Rivera was Carolina’s coach.

The Panthers are having trouble finding a trade partner for Newton, which makes sense given the COVID-19 pandemic preventing teams from having their medical personnel examine players with injury concerns. The Panthers are likely to release the former MVP soon. Winston has not been linked to any teams since the Bucs signed Brady.

Haskins finished with by far the worst QBR figure among qualified passers last season. Daniel Snyder, however, pushed for the Ohio State prospect going into the draft. Although Rivera mentioned Alex Smith as a candidate to start in 2020, the odds may still be against the former No. 1 overall pick playing again. Unless the Redskins draft Tagovailoa over Chase Young, Haskins remains the best bet to take the snaps in Week 1.

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Panthers Likely To Release Cam Newton Soon?

Although the Panthers are attempting to trade quarterback Cam Newton after landing another signal-caller in free agent Teddy Bridgewater, Carolina is having trouble finding a suitor, according to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic (Twitter link). As a result, the Panthers are likely to simply release Newton in the near future.

Carolina’s inability to deal Newton is largely the result of two factors. First, the supply of quarterbacks currently outweighs the demand. Teams like the Bears and Colts have already made additions under center, while the Chargers aren’t planning to make a run at a veteran quarterback. As such, the Patriots may be the only club in need of an experienced passer.

Second, Newton finished the 2019 campaign on injured reserve after going down with a Lisfranc injury. Interested teams would certainly like to have Newton take a physical before acquiring him, but given the current COVID-19 travel restrictions, that doesn’t appear possible. It seems doubtful any club would take a chance on Newton’s health without checking him out in person.

The Panthers have no intention of retaining both Newton and Bridgewater, per Rodrigue, so once the latter completes a physical with Carolina, Newton is likely to be cut. At that point, the Panthers would pick up $19.1MM in cap relief while absorbing $2MM in dead money.

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Bears Interested In Panthers’ Cam Newton

Cam Newton is on the trading block and the Bears are among the teams with interest in him, Jonathan Jones of CBSSports.com (on Twitter) hears. The expectation is that Newton will be released by the Panthers in the coming days, but Jones notes that the Bears might not want to compete for him on the open market. Instead, they might be willing to give up something in a trade to bring the former MVP to Chicago. 

[RELATED: Cam Newton: I “Never Asked” For Panthers To Trade Me]

The Panthers announced on Tuesday that they have given Newton permission to seek a trade. Soon after, the quarterback took to Instagram to let the world know that he did not want out of Carolina.

Stop with the word play! I never asked for it,” Newton wrote. “There is no dodging this one: I love the Panthers to death and will always love you guys! Please do not try and play me, or manipulate the narrative and act like I wanted this. You forced me into this!”

The Panthers later agreed to a sizable deal with Saints free agent Teddy Bridgewater, cementing him as the team’s new starting QB. The Bears, who are looking for alternatives to Mitchell Trubisky, were among the clubs with interest in Bridgewater up until that point. Now, their search could lead them to Newton.

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Panthers Notes: Newton, GM, Rebuild

While the Panthers and Cam Newton are clearly parting ways, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN reports the team may have been open to a reunion. A source tells Fowler that Carolina was open to bringing Newton back for the 2020 season, but was unwilling to extend his contract, something they expected him to want. Instead, the team signed free-agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $60MM contract that gives them a proven starter with long-term flexibility.

Here are some more notes from around the Panthers organization:

  • The assistant general manager hire in Carolina may have higher stakes than usual. Per Joseph Person of The Athletic, whoever is hired will be the successor to current general manager Marty Hurney (who extends back to the Ron Rivera regime). The Panthers, of course, moved on from Rivera this offseason and hired Baylor head coach Matt Rhule. Rhule will obviously have a lot of input on who becomes the assistant general manager as that will soon be his primary partner in player personnel decisions.
  • There does seem to be some uncertainty surrounding the short-term plan in Carolina. Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports reports the front office has changed its tune away from a full rebuild towards a “mixed reboot.” Robinson notes that around the scouting combine the team had seemed to suggest that all players were available in trades, but that tone has, at least on the surface, shifted. Granted, Rhule could want to wait until they hire an assistant general manager.

Cam Newton: I “Never Asked” For Panthers To Trade Me

The Panthers have granted Cam Newton permission to seek a trade. Newton, meanwhile, says he never requested one.

Stop with the word play! I never asked for it,” Newton wrote in an Instagram reply to the Panthers in his signature mangled text. “There is no dodging this one: I love the Panthers to death and will always love you guys! Please do not try and play me, or manipulate the narrative and act like I wanted this. You forced me into this!”

Like it or not, Newton probably won’t be left with much choice. It sounds like the Panthers are already eyeing potential replacements, as the organization has been connected to veteran Teddy Bridgewater. If the front office misses out on a quarterback in free agency, they could turn their focus to the draft, where they own the seventh-overall pick.

While injuries have derailed Newton’s production in recent years, he’s still a former MVP, and he also led the Panthers to the Super Bowl. He’s slated to make just $18.6MM this season, making him a fairly affordable bridge option for a QB-needy team.

Newton was limited to only two games in 2019, but he did make 14 starts in 2018. That season, he connected on a career-high 67.9-percent of his passes for 3,395 yards, 24 touchdowns, and 13 interceptions. While he’s not nearly as prolific in the running game as he once was, he still managed to compile 488 rushing yards and four scores on 101 attempts.

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Panthers Give Cam Newton Permission To Seek Trade

The Panthers may be moving on from Cam Newton. On Tuesday, the club announced that they have granted their star quarterback permission to seek a trade.

One of the distinct pleasures of my career was selecting Cam with the first pick in the 2011 draft,” GM Marty Hurney said in a statement. “Every year difficult decisions are made and they are never easy. We have been working with Cam and his agent to find the best fit for him moving forward and he will always be a Carolina Panther in our hearts.”

Newton, 31 in May, captured the NFL’s MVP trophy in 2015 and led the team to the Super Bowl. He also owns just about every franchise record for QBs.

Unfortunately, injuries have taken his career in a different direction as of late. The three-time Pro Bowler has gone under the knife multiple times, including surgeries to his throwing shoulder and left foot.

Newton may have lost some of his luster, but he should still hold appeal for teams in need of QB help. He’s slated to make just $18.6MM this season, making him a fairly affordable bridge option.

Any interested clubs will want to take a close look at his aforementioned maladies. At last check, we heard that Newton could ready to throw sometime this month, though the Panthers were planning to be cautious with him and delay some of his work until later in the spring.

Meanwhile, the Panthers are showing very strong interest in quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, sources tell Dianna Russini of ESPN.com (on Twitter). They’ll have competition for Teddy Two-Gloves, however – the Bears have shown interest (though they seem ready to pivot towards other passers) and the Bucs also see him as a strong fallback if they’re unable to land Tom Brady.

If the Panthers don’t go for Bridgewater, or another one of this year’s high-profile free agent QBs, they could consider a passer in the first round of the draft. The Panthers own the No. 7 overall pick, putting them in good position for most of this year’s top signal callers.

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Panthers Plan To Keep Cam Newton

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.

If the Panthers wind up with a top pick in 2021, they could be in range for prospects like Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence and Ohio State’s Justin Fields.

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