In what has been another season shorted by injury, it has put into question star quarterback Cam Newton‘s long-term future with the Carolina Panthers. The rumblings have shifted towards the team possibly moving on from the former league MVP after the 2019 season. In light of all that dialogue, Newton has finally opened up about his future beyond this campaign with the Panthers.
Cam Newton’s uncertain Panthers future
Throughout the last nine years, Newton has been engrained as the unquestioned the Panthers’ franchise quarterback. However, things have shifted in the other direction for the Pro Bowler, as he’s experienced yet another campaign shortened by injury.
That has put into question his long-term future with the franchise as he’s struggled to stay healthy over the last couple of seasons. That, coupled with his contract situation, which has only another year left on his five-year, $103.8 million deal, has brought forth more doubt. That final year of the deal contains just a $2 million dead cap hit that leaves the door open to the potential that the team could move on from him.
The noise around the team has grown louder, especially after they decided to move on from longtime head coach Ron Rivera earlier this month. Newton has finally responded to all that chatter that is around his future in Carolina.
Cam Newton sheds light on the situation
The last few months haven’t seen much public dialogue from Newton as he recovers from a surgically-repaired foot from a Lisfranc fracture.
His lack of public comments only further fed into the notion that he could be nearing the end of his tenure in Carolina. That silence ended this week as he voiced to Panthers fans at his sixth annual Santa Cam’s Surprise Sleigh event that he doesn’t want to leave the team, according to Alaina Getzenberg of the Charlotte Observer.
“Don’t leave us, man. Don’t leave us,” one man requested. Newton’s response? “I won’t. They got to ship me off for me to leave … In order for me to leave, they got to get rid of me. It’s not up to me.”
Aside from the rumors that Newton could be interested in joining the Chicago Bears, his heart still lies with the Panthers. That is the franchise that he has spent his entire career with and has reached great heights.
That also paints the picture that if his tenure ends in Carolina, it’s not due to his first choice as he wants to remain with the team. The decision will come down to the front office doing what they believe is best for the franchise for the long haul at the quarterback position.
What will the Panthers do with Cam Newton?
The Panthers are headed toward wrapping up another season that has seen them fall well short of reaching the playoffs.
The situation is different this time around with the team looking to find a long-term solution at the head coach position after firing Rivera. It also entails them taking serious consideration into the direction that they are moving in at the quarterback spot.
Newton’s contract is potentially expendable, while he could fetch strong interest around the league from teams like the Bears, Los Angeles Chargers, and Broncos. That is a route that the front office could seriously consider once the offseason underway.
In the meantime, Newton’s desire to stay with the Panthers is quite evident. There is also a highly likely chance that he plays the rest of his contract with the team, making the 2020 campaign the make-it-or-break-it season. Only time will tell what will ultimately transpire in Carolina in the coming months.