Over the last few months, there have been plenty of questions concerning star quarterback Cam Newton‘s long-term future with the Carolina Panthers. Newton had yet another campaign heavily impacted and cut short by injuries that raised more questions about whether he can remain healthy and lead the franchise to success. He has already got ahead of the curve to state he wants to stay with the Panthers, but team owner David Tepper may have stirred things up with his most recent comments.
Cam Newton hopes to stay with the Panthers
Throughout the last several weeks, Newton has been relatively quietly publicly, which has led to narratives being built around him and what lies ahead with his NFL future.
Newton broke his silence once again during the days leading up to Super Bowl 54 as he voiced that he spoke to coaches, the front office, and Tepper to gauge where things stand while expressing his desire to remain a Panther.
‘I’ve heard it all. ‘They’re going to trade Cam; Cam’s going to get released.’ This that and the third. And yet, through it all, I was able to have those same kind of questions with the owner, the GM, and newest head coach Matt Rhule, and I’m excited. I’m excited. I never once gave the thought that I didn’t want to be in Carolina. I do want to be in Carolina. Carolina is a place that I call home, and we still have unfinished business to take care of there.”
There is clearly no push for him to want to start anew with another team as he has his sights set on returning to the field with the franchise. It’s been a tough past couple of seasons, but that hasn’t deterred him from wanting to continue playing for the franchise that drafted him.
However, Tepper may have thrown a wrench into it all concerning Newton’s future in Carolina.
David Tepper’s comments on Cam Newton’s future
Newton’s comments presented a different picture of where things stand with him and the Panthers.
That was shaken up a bit on Tuesday night as Tepper gave his honest assessment of the situation as Newton’s healthy is still the biggest concern for the team moving forward. (H/T David Newton of ESPN)
“Listen. I’m not a doctor,” Tepper said on Tuesday. “I’ve said it a million times, is he healthy? He’s not a doctor. There’s a lot of different things that can happen. Is he healthy? And then we can talk.”
The impression that these comments give certainly give off the vibe that the team may be done with Newton. His constant battle with injuries has become wearing on the franchise, which could very well lead to a shift this offseason.
Tepper didn’t go as far as to state that, but if Newton’s health doesn’t improve or any issue hinders him, it appears Tepper is more than comfortable with cutting ties with him. It’s hard not to read the tea leaves to suggest that the former league MVP may have already played his final game with the Panthers.
What will the Panthers do with Cam Newton?
These latest comments from Tepper make it hard to believe that Newton’s time with the Panthers will extend much further.
It also doesn’t help that he’s about to enter the final year fo his five-year, $103.8 million deal. That includes only $2 million in a dead-cap hit towards the 2020 season if he’s either traded or cut by the team.
Newton’s future in Carolina is out of his hands, which leaves the only thing up to him is proving that his injury problems are now behind him. That may be the only way he can remain with the franchise.
It’s another situation that the rest of the league will keep an eye on as several other teams such as the Chicago Bears, Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders or Miami Dolphins could be interested in his services. There will be much more ahead to come on this front.