Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper spoke with local media today and made it clear that all options are on the table with quarterback Cam Newton.
ESPN’s David Newton added that Tepper noted the team won’t make any decision until Newton is completely healthy. Newton is currently on injured reserve with a Lisfranc injury.
Newton is going to be entering the final year of his current contract in 2020 and is scheduled to make $18.6 million in base salary. Though, there is just $2 million in guarantees left on this deal next season.
So, what does “all options” mean here?
Tepper is keeping the door open for Newton to return as a starter next year, to be sure. He’s also not ruling out keeping Newton on as a backup (though that seems highly unlikely). If Newton doesn’t return to the Panthers next season, the team could either trade or release him.
Obviously, the Panthers would rather get something in return if, in fact, they end up trading Newton.
There’s another quarterback out there that would seem to fit the team’s need, and he’s an unrestricted free agent. The Panthers could be thinking about drafting another rookie next April, and there’s a chance Kyle Allen is someone they think they could build around.
All options gives this team a ton of avenues it could pursue. But in the end it seems likely Newton is not part of the Panthers’ plans in 2020.