The Carolina Panthers are moving on from Cam Newton, according to multiple published reports. They plan to cut the former league MVP and NFC champion after failing to find a trade partner.
First, we’ll share what we know. And then we’ll get into what we think.
What we know:
NFL Network reports that that the Panthers tried to trade Newton — who was due to make $18.6 million in nonguaranteed salary in 2020 — to the Bears and Chargers, but neither team was amenable to the terms.
There’s a big reason: Newton’s health.
He missed all but two games of 2019 with a Lisfranc injury and after trying to rehab naturally, decided in December to undergo surgery to fix his foot.
There’s no way for interested teams to know for sure how much he has recovered and what his long-term outlook is because the NFL has basically made conducting physicals impossible in response to coronavirus.
As a result, Newton had no trade market, but the Panthers were able to get a fifth-round pick for Newton’s backup, Kyle Allen.
So how does all of this impact the Dolphins, who are determined to upgrade the quarterback position this offseason?
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Here’s what we think:
If Newton would sign in Miami, it would be as a bridge quarterback/mentor to whomever they select in the NFL Draft. And while he’s certainly a better player than the guy they currently have in place to do that job, he’s probably not a better personality fit. Put simply, Newton marches to the beat of his own drum.
“Eh, not much of a mentor,” was how one person who knows Newton well put it. (To be fair, another person we reached out to thinks he would do OK in that role because he’s determined to prove people wrong about him.)
Ryan Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, is a natural leader and said in January he would “ have no problem” mentoring a young QB.
Combine that with Newton’s health, a price tag that would probably exceed the $8 million Fitzpatrick is set to earn this year, the Dolphins’ dwindling cap space and the fact that the Dolphins didn’t make any real effort (as far as we know) to go after Tom Brady, Teddy Bridgewater or Philip Rivers, the odds of Newton coming to Miami seem quite long.