From Matt Rhule to Joe Brady, the Carolina Panthers will have a vastly different coaching staff next season, along with a vastly different offensive philosophy. That philosophy likely won’t involve Cam Newton.
“If Cam Newton was in his prime and healthy and without a contract situation over his head, he could fit into any offense,” NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport said on The DA Show. “My belief, my understanding, is the Panthers will look to trade Cam Newton when he’s healthy. We don’t know for sure when he’s going to be healthy. He had surgery with hopes of being healthy in March, so that is the goal. I would expect him to be healthy in March, right around there, and for them to seek a trade with him regardless.”
Newton, who turns 31 in May, had surgery on his left foot in December. He is slated to make just north of $18 million in 2020 and will be an unrestricted free agent in 2021.
“He’s not going to want to go out there with no guaranteed money and a greatly undervalued deal,” Rapoport said. “Cam Newton, when he’s healthy, is worth a lot more than the $18 million he’s going to be paid. So he would want a new contract.”
But the Panthers almost certainly won’t give one to him.
“I have a hard time imagining the Panthers, with a completely new regime, would re-up,” Rapoport said. “So to me, all signs point to him being traded regardless of the offensive scheme, and I think the Panthers will start new – probably as they should.”
Newton, the first overall pick in 2011, was NFL MVP in 2015 and led the Panthers to the Super Bowl. The Panthers haven’t won a playoff game since then and have finished with a losing record in three of the last four seasons.