Panthers will reportedly keep Cam Newton if return is not significant
The Carolina Panthers have already begun making big changes by firing head coach Ron Rivera, and there has been a lot of talk about a Cam Newton trade coming next. However, it is not exactly a guarantee that the former NFL MVP will be playing for a new team in 2020.
Newton is scheduled to undergo surgery in the coming days to repair the foot injury has sidelined him for almost the entire 2019 season. The goal is for him to be fully healthy in March, which is when the Panthers have to decide if they want to keep him on the roster and guarantee his $18.6 million salary for 2020. While Carolina is planning to explore trade possibilities, Ian Rapoport of NFL Media reports that they have not ruled out keeping Newton if the return is not significant.
Assuming doctors declare Newton fully healthy, there should be at least one or two teams that are willing to part with a high draft pick for the 30-year-old. While the injury concerns surrounding Newton are valid, he can be a game-changing talent under the right circumstances. The Kansas City Chiefs traded Alex Smith to the Washington Redskins two years ago for a third-round pick and starting cornerback Kendall Fuller, and the Denver Broncos acquired Joe Flacco from the Baltimore Ravens last offseason for a fourth-round pick. Newton should fetch more than that.
Newton’s $18.6 million salary for next season is a value for a starting quarterback, but he will likely want an extension if and when he is healthy. He recently indicated he wants to remain in Carolina, though his reaction to the Rivera firing makes you wonder if he has since changed his mind.