Even though the NFL playoffs are still going strong, there are some teams already looking ahead to the offseason and the 2020 regular season. The Carolina Panthers already have a new head coach in Matt Rhule and a new offensive coordinator in former LSU quarterbacks coach Joe Brady, but who will lead them on the field is still in question. According to new rumors, Cam Newton will no longer have that responsibility, as he will be traded sometime in March.
Newton has led the Panthers on the field since 2011. However, that all changed in 2019, due to injuries that caused the veteran quarterback to miss 14 regular season games. Backup quarterback Kyle Allen stepped up to lead the team in those games.
With the end of the 2019 season, the Panthers have made some drastic changes, hiring former Baylor head coach Rhule to replace Ron Rivera. After winning the NCAA National Championship, Brady has been hired as offensive coordinator. As fans saw with Joe Burrow at LSU, Brady can make quarterbacks into Heisman Trophy winners.
According to Ian Rapoport, Newton won’t get the chance to work under this new coaching team. While on CBS Sports Radio, Rapoport stated that he expects the Panthers to trade Newton at some point in March.
Newton played in the first two games of the 2019 season before a foot injury suffered in the preseason required him to sit out. He was replaced by Allen with the thought that he’d return at some point in the season. However, he was placed on injured reserve in early November, as reported by the official website of the Carolina Panthers.
Before the 2018 season, Newton had only missed three starts in his career. Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said that Newton’s foot injury would just need time.
“For the past seven weeks, Cam has diligently followed a program of rest and rehab and still is experiencing pain in his foot. He saw two foot specialists last week who agreed that he should continue that path prescribed by the team’s medical staff, and that it likely will take significant time for the injury to fully heal. We have said all along that it is impossible to put a timetable on this injury.”
With Newton set to count for $21.1 million against the salary cap in 2020, it appears as if Carolina is ready to move on. Once they know he is healthy enough, it is expected that the Panthers will work on trading him to a quarterback-hungry team.
For now, it’s not known where Newton could end up. And until he’s officially placed on the NFL trading block, it remains possible that he will remain with the Panthers.