(Career Stats: 29,041 Passing Yards 182 Passing Touchdowns 108 interceptions 59.6 Completion Percentage; 934 Rushing Attempts 4,806 Rushing Yards 58 Rushing Touchdowns)
Panthers have many options heading into 2020
Cam Newton hasn’t played since week two against the Buccaneers, and he finally underwent surgery Monday officially killing any chance of him playing in 2019. This came as no surprise; Newton’s chances of playing this year had been written off weeks ago, but it added a sense of finality to the situation. Now the Panthers are in a situation that has anything but answers. Carolina has a variety of transaction options: they can trade Newton, release him or they can hold him.
Kyle Allen has proved that he is not a franchise quarterback this year. While Allen started out hot winning his first four starts, he’s significantly cooled off to the tune of six straight losses and has been exposed as a true backup. Cam would rocket back to the top of the depth chart once healthy. If the Panthers plan on contending in 2020 keeping Newton makes sense; he is a true franchise quarterback who when healthy (Yes that is a big if) is very dynamic. He has proven that he can lead teams to success as he led the Panthers to the playoffs four times and led them to Super Bowl 50. Cam gives the Panthers their best chance at bouncing back next season.
The least sexy options are to just cut bait with Newton altogether. This would free over 19 million and only leave 2 million in dead money in 2020. This scenario makes the most sense if the Panthers do not receive any trade offers they like, and they believe that Cam is unable to stay healthy. It is fair to think teams will not want to shell out to get Newton after he has battled injuries the last two years and with his physical style of play the risk of future injury is a lot higher than most quarterbacks.
Now the most exciting option: Trade. The Panthers have said that they are looking for a large return, and why wouldn’t they be? Newton is a proven franchise quarterback and those don’t grow on trees. Three teams stick out as fits for Cam: The Bears, Colts, and Broncos.
Mitch Trubisky, with the exception of one fantastic Thursday against Dallas, has been boring and to be blunt bad. Cam would fix the boring and the bad. The Bears have a stellar defense and pieces on offense to put together a contender with the right quarterback so why not take a shot at Newton? The biggest problem for the Bears is they do not have a first-round pick next year which could take them out of the running unless they provide the next years first.
John Elway and veteran quarterbacks are a match made in heaven. Like the Bears, the Broncos have a quality defense that can provide wins if the offense is serviceable. This year the offense for the Broncos has struggled mightily, and they are on their third quarterback. Yes, Drew Lock had one good game but followed that up with a stinker Sunday. Elway has brought in Manning, Keenum, and Flacco so there’s a significant precedent for him to target veteran QB’s so Cam fits the mold.
The Colts looked like contenders for a big chunk of the season with Jacoby Brissett under center, now imagine if they had Cam. With the likes of Marlon Mack, T.Y Hilton and company the Colts have weapons on offense the problem is Brissett is only averaging 6.9 yards per attempt despite having a solid receiving core and a solid run game to keep defenses honest. Brissett suffered injuries himself and to be fair so did other weapons on offense, but it’s hard not to imagine the Colts being a better team with Newton instead.
We won’t know the final destination for Newton until the off-season; the Panthers have said they are holding out for a large deal which is stating the obvious. If you’re going to trade your franchise QB you aren’t going to rush a deal through just to get it done; you’re going to try and squeeze out every ounce of value you can. For now, Newton is a Panther and that is all we truly know.
For more football, follow @dynastyfbdigest and @idpguys on twitter. Follow me on twitter @molemansgroin