Has Cam Newton played his last game for the Carolina Panthers?

Carolina Panthers

Cam Newton’s foot injury may ultimately end his 2019 season, but is it possible he has played his last game for the Carolina Panthers?

Before being sidelined in Week 3 by a foot injury that first occurred during the preseason, and perhaps with a right shoulder issue still lingering, Cam Newton looked like a shell of himself. He was declared out for Week 4 on Monday, so Kyle Allen will make another start under center for the Carolina Panthers against the Houston Texans.

A multi-week absence always seemed possible for Newton, and now there’s clarity on his foot injury. Joe Person of The Athletic was first to report the 2015 NFL MVP has a Lisfranc sprain, but surgery is not on the table yet. If that continues to be the case, he’ll probably be out 4-8 weeks. If surgery is done at some point, Newton’s 2019 season would be over. Somewhere along the line, if Allen continues to play well, the Panthers could simply decide to shut Newton down if his recovery without surgery is prolonged.

Newton has two years left on a contract that averaged $20.76 million per year in new money when he signed it in June of 2015. That was before the quarterback market took off, which each new deal surpassing the one before it, so Newton stands out as underpaid with base salaries of $16.2 million this year and $18.6 million in 2020.

Since starting last season 6-2, the Panthers are just 2-9. Head coach Ron Rivera is surely feeling some heat, with a relatively new owner in David Tepper and a general manager in Marty Hurney who came back to the role a couple years ago but doesn’t feel like a long-timer. So it could be an offseason of significant change in Carolina if this season goes astray, and the changes may not stop at Newton.

If the Panthers cut Newton before next June 1, they would eat just $2 million in dead money and clear $19.1 million in cap space. They’ve only had three winning records with him as the starter, and take out his MVP season he has averaged just 21 touchdown passes per season in his other seven full campaigns.

If Allen shows he is good enough to be the quarterback of the future, or Carolina is in position to draft a quarterback high in the 2020 draft, moving on from Newton becomes more palatable as well as financially prudent. Rookie Will Grier could fall somewhere in that quarterback mix heading into 2020 as well, and clearing a big chunk of cap space would put signing a veteran signal caller on the table for the Panthers.

Next: NFL Power Rankings: Week 4

With how banged up he has been the last couple years, retirement may be on Newton’s mind by the end of the season. But with strictly his foot injury and iffy status for the rest of the season in mind right now, there’s a chance Newton has already played his last game for the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2011.

For all things football, check out our FanSided NFL hub!

Products You May Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *