Since the end of the 2019 season, there have been plenty of questions around star quarterback Cam Newton‘s long-term future with the Carolina Panthers. Newton had just gone through an injury-plagued campaign while the Panther failed to reach the playoff for yet another season. That put a blanket of uncertainty around his playing days with the Panthers as trade rumors have continued to arise. There is now another wrinkle to the entire matter that could further fuel the notion that Newton could be on the move.
Cam Newton’s future with Panthers
Newton has spent the first nine years of his career with the Panthers, where he has become their franchise cornerstone under center.
However, the previous two seasons have seen Carolina struggle to find any consistent success on the field, failing to reach the playoffs. In contrast, Newton’s health has been the centerfold of the issues.
Following missing the final two games of the 2018 season due to a shoulder injury, the former league MVP had his problems with injuries in the 2019 season as a reaggravated foot ailment in Week 2 forced him to miss the rest of the year. That put the team in a tight spot rolling with backup Kyle Allen to pick up the slack, which he struggled in the second half of season.
Newton’s run of injuries over the last two years has put into question his future with the franchise, especially since he’s entering the final year of his five-year, $103.8 million deal. With that chatter continuing to gather momentum, there is another aspect of the situation that may further fuel that speculation.
How Cam Newton trade talk can escalate
Last month, Newton broke his silence concerning his standing with the Panthers, which he aired out his keen interest in remaining with the franchise.
Shortly after that, team owner David Tepper voicing that there are still questions about the quarterback’s health that appear to have given him pause about the situation. With that in mind, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk has reported that teams interested in trading for Newton can give him a physical to determine if he’s healthy enough to play.
The good news is that a team that wants to trade for Newton will be able to do some homework before making that decision. According to the NFL, a team interested in trading for a player can give the player a physical, with the permission of his current team.
Any potential trade for Newton will center on his health at this point in his career. With there being much uncertainty around the entire matter, it could see go this route to explore their options as management sounds unsure if they want to retain the star quarterback.
The Panthers are clearly in rebuilding mode, and starting anew under center could very well be in the cards this offseason.
What will the Panthers do with Cam Newton?
The Panthers haven’t outright suggested that they will entertain possibly trading Newton, but all the signs are there in this matter.
That begins at the top with Tepper being quite noncommital to Pro Bowl quarterback in his last public appearance. Meanwhile, it also doesn’t help Newton’s given that if the team were to trade or cut him this offseason, he would only present a $2 million dead cap hit on the team’s salary for the 2020 season.
The Panthers have also made some intriguing moves over the last few months that included parting ways with longtime head coach Ron Rivera and brought in former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule on a six-year deal. The team also elected to move on from former Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen, who has now signed with the Seattle Seahawks.
The writing may be on the wall for Newton as his time in Carolina looks to be coming to an end shortly.