As many of you might have heard, yesterday the Carolina Panthers placed Cam Newton on IR, ending his season, as he hasn't really recovered from his foot injury he got in the preseason. Okay, that's a common story so far, so what? Well, Newton only has one more year left on his contract. If the Panthers cut him after this season, they would save $19.1 million dollars.
Ok, so they would save some money...but Newton got them to the Super Bowl, and was the league MVP just 4 years ago!...and before getting hurt, was on an 8 game losing streak. His backup, Kyle Allen? In 6 games, is 5-1. Further, Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey seems to be thriving in Newton's absence. Not only does he have a career best YPC and TDs, but McCaffrey is currently on pace to rush for more yards this year than his previous two years combined...
Newton is also an aging dual threat QB. Cam Newton will be 31 the next time he puts on an NFL uniform to dress for a game. He is a decent thrower, but not a great one. What kind of a QB will he be when he can't rely on his legs to get him out of trouble? Some dual threat QBs end up becoming superb pocket passers, some don't. He currently sits at 29,041 passing yards. At some point next year, assuming he starts, he will surpass Brad Johnson, Jake Plummer, Jon Kitna, Randall Cunningham and Steve McNair on the all-time passing yards list, and possibly even Mark Brunell and Kurt Warner. If he continues to start, at some point in the 2021 season, he would pass Troy Aikman, Steve Young and Phil Simms. Cam Newton can throw the ball. He isn't exactly Aaron Rodgers, but he is a respectable QB in his own right.
At what point does Panthers management decide that they would be better off without Newton than with him? Are we there yet? There are still good reasons to keep him. There are also good reasons to move on from him. This post is NOT an attempt to convince anyone that the Panthers should dump him.