Published: Thu, February 13, 2020
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Panthers want clarity on Newton's health before deciding future

Panthers want clarity on Newton's health before deciding future

Newton expressed optimism about his owner future with the Panthers at the Super Bowl, telling the Tiki & Tierney radio show that he "absolutely" expects to play in Carolina next season.

Panthers owner David Tepper remains noncommittal on Cam Newton's future with the organization, saying it will largely depend on how the quarterback recovers from foot surgery.

"Listen, I'm not a doctor", Tepper said, according to Steve Reed of The Associated Press. "But no, I haven't heard of that", said Tepper on the matter of a trade. There's a lot of different things that could happen. "But first is he healthy", Tepper said. "Is he healthy? And then we can talk". He also said he had an "unbelievable conversation" with Tepper, general manager Marty Hurney and new coach Matt Rhule. Through Classroom Central, the Panthers' $120,000 donation will provide new school supplies to a total of 800 classrooms in 17 Title I Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools. The Panthers could save $19 million against the salary cap by trading or releasing him.

He missed all but two games previous year due to a Lisfranc injury in his left foot that required surgery in December.

"And I'm in the position right now where I told even Coach [Rhule] that you won't find nobody that's more dedicated and probably more hungry than myself to not only prove to him and the fans but to prove to myself. that I'm still capable of playing this game of football at a high level".

Newton led the Panthers to the Super Bowl final in 2015
Newton led the Panthers to the Super Bowl final in 2015

Though Tepper's comments on Newton's status ended up overshadowing the day's affairs, a great deal of good was done for the sake of Charlotte-area teachers.

For the Panthers, navigating the murky waters of Newton's health is far from a simple proposition. His shoulder injury especially impacted him during the second half of the 2018 season. The second-year Panthers owner already initiated a house-cleaning in his image, replacing longtime head coach Ron Rivera with National Football League head-coaching rookie Matt Rhule.

Newton's fit as part of that rebuild is a large factor in his future as well.

"That's still the No 1 overwhelming thing". And that's something that neither Tepper nor Newton are qualified to ascertain - so the answer to the biggest question in Panthers history will continue to remain unanswered.

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