Panthers Preparing To Trade Cam Newton
The Panthers are preparing to trade Cam Newton.
At this point, the writing is on the wall. Carolina and its franchise quarterback are done.
Although Panthers management has not publicly commented on Newton’s future with the organization, there are now too many trade reports to ignore.
NFL Network insider Ian Rapoport was the first to report several months ago what the Panthers’ plan was. They would wait until Newton got healthy some time in March and then seek out trade options from there.
Retaining Newton was not in the cards.
That report has since been confirmed by multiple other insiders in the know.
Dave Tepper, on Cam Newton – all comes down to health. Won’t make definitive statements until he knows about Cam’s health. Does not expand on timeline. Full comments: pic.twitter.com/3soTgdyagp
— Jourdan Rodrigue (@JourdanRodrigue) February 11, 2020
In 2019, Newton played just two outings as a result of injuries. Given all the damage his body has taken, many are genuinely wondering if perhaps the wear and tear sustained has sapped him of being the player he was in his MVP heyday.
That seems to be the general thinking among Carolina’s new brain trust. With former Baylor head coach Matt Rhule taking the reigns from Ron Rivera, the plan seems to be to start fresh.
According to the Charlotte Observer, Newton and Carolina going their separate ways is “inevitable.”
With Carolina’s desire to ship Newton off now being clear, the big question is how the organization plans to do it.
Newton, currently, is still under contract. That means the team is limited to just two options.
Obviously the Panthers could just cut him, but that does not make a ton of sense. Trading him is the far better option.
A few weeks ago, team owner David Tepper refused to offer any comments on Newton’s future beyond just saying that he was waiting for his quarterback to get fully healthy.
“It’s a question of how healthy his foot and he is otherwise,” he said.
“And that’s still the number No. 1 overwhelming thing — to see how healthy he is and how we can figure out when he’s healthy or not. And everything comes from that.”
Those comments are similar ones Tepper made just a few weeks earlier.
“I’m not a doctor,” he insisted.
“I’ve said it a million times: ‘Is he healthy?’ And he’s not a doctor. There’s a lot of different things that can happen. But first, ‘Is he healthy?’ Tell me that and then we can talk.”
Based on the lack of commitment from ownership, it is obvious that they do not see Newton as a part of their future.
Newton, for his part, has repeatedly expressed a desire to remain in Carolina.
“Are you going to be back in Carolina, are you sure you’re going to be a Panther?” a reporter asked him a few weeks ago during Super Bowl festivities.
“Absolutely, absolutely,” he replied confidently.
That said, he is also a realist. Privately, he has reportedly expressed interest in playing for a contender, should a trade occur.
To date, he has been linked to the Los Angeles Chargers, Las Vegas Raiders, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Chicago Bears, Indianapolis Colts, New England Patriots and Tennessee Titans. It is unclear how feasible any of those options truly are, but they have certainly all been mentioned.
One way or another, the Panthers are moving on from Newton. That big question now is simply whether he can get healthy enough for the team to get back something of value for him.
If the answer to that is no, then Carolina may need to let Newton simply walk for nothing.