Panthers’ Cam Newton likely to be cleared for football activity in March
The Carolina Panthers are undecided on what to do with Cam Newton, but they could get some clarity on his recovery process within the next month. According to a source close to The Athletic, Newton is likely to be cleared for football activity in March.
Over the past couple of seasons, Newton has been plagued by multiple injuries that have sidelined him for a grand total of 16 Panthers games. This season alone, the former NFL MVP missed 14 games due to a Lisfranc injury on his left foot.
When the injury initially occurred in the preseason, the Panthers assumed that Newton would need just a few weeks to return to the field. While he was able to play in Week 1, he reaggravated the injury by returning too soon.
After waiting to see if he would make any progress in his recovery as a member of the Panthers, Newton opted to undergo surgery on his foot in December. Now, nearly four months after his surgery, Newton could be cleared for football activity.
However, Ron Rivera is no longer in the picture; he was removed as head coach. Furthermore, it remains to be seen if Matt Rhule wants Newton as his quarterback in 2020. In the upcoming season, Newton is set to be a $21.1 million cap hit for the Panthers.
Considering the current quarterback market, that is a steal for an All-Pro quarterback. At the same time, Newton’s recent injury history could cause the Panthers to move on from him in the offseason.
By releasing or trading Newton, Carolina would create $19.1 million in cap space. In addition, they would also incur only a $2 million dead-cap penalty. Regardless of what they choose to do, the Panthers should have a better understanding of where Newton is health-wise next month.