With Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton set to undergo surgery on his foot, he will now be facing an estimated three-month recovery time. This would put him back at full health as the new league year begins in mid-March. This timing is key given that the Panthers are reportedly looking to trade the former league MVP during the offseason.
According to NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Newton is owed roughly $19 million as part of the final year of his five-year, $103,800 contract. The Panthers could save this money by simply releasing the quarterback, but that will reportedly not be considered.
"I am told they are not going to trade him," Rapoport said. "Instead, expect the Panthers to try and trade Cam Newton this offseason. No doubt, going to be one of the biggest storylines with so many big-time, big-name quarterbacks available. Newton is going to be right in the mix, assuming he's healthy."
From @NFLGameDay: The #Panthers are expected to seek a trade for QB Cam Newton this offseason (https://t.co/bCFjPn5Y6Z) and they should get a high price for the former MVP if Newton is healthy. pic.twitter.com/wEYxz3gS35— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 8, 2019
With the goals seemingly set, the Panthers could simply be looking for any deal in order to part ways with Newton and save some money. However, Rapoport believes that will not be the case. His understanding is that the team will be looking for a "bounty" of picks in exchange for the former first overall pick.
Given the various quarterbacks that have been traded in recent years, such as Sam Bradford and Joe Flacco, there is a range of compensation potentially available to the Panthers. Will Newton warrant a first-round pick or more? The answer is unknown, but Rapoport believes that this is a potential option.
Considering the issues with injured quarterbacks and struggles with consistency, there will reportedly be a large market for the former first overall draft pick (2011). The Chicago Bears could be an option depending on the play of Mitch Trubisky, as could the Cincinnati Bengals.
Regardless of the destination, Rapoport's understanding is that Newton will be someone that generates considerable interest in March. His health will obviously play a role in a potential trade considering that he has finished the past two seasons on Injured Reserve, but the surgery and three-month timeline would put Newton right in line to pass a pre-trade physical.
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