The Carolina Panthers seem set to move on from Cam Newton, and these five teams should have some interest in trading for him.
With Ron Rivera gone as head coach, the next step for the Carolina Panthers to move into a new era is to move on from quarterback Cam Newton. He is entering the final year of his contract, and the team can clear $19.1 million in cap space ($2 million in dead money) by cutting or trading him.
Other teams could wait for Newton to be cut, though it’s not necessarily guaranteed the Panthers will go that route right now. With ample other options available, via free agency or trade, getting in front of any line to trade for Newton might prove palatable for some teams.
Newton of course has questions about his health, and he will turn 31 years old in May. A shoulder injury sapped his effectiveness as the 2018 season wore, and a lingering foot issue eventually costing him 14 games last year. But when he was last fully healthy, during the first half of 2018, he was playing some of the best football of his career.
The Panthers have let it out that they expect Newton to pass a physical in March, just in time for the start of the new league year. The only way leaking that idea right now makes sense is to prove to other teams that he’s healthy, and thus create a trade market.
If Newton is not simply cut at the outset of the new league year, these five teams should be interested in making a trade for him.
5. New England Patriots
Any idea the Patriots will pursue another quarterback this offseason is obviously based on the assumption Tom Brady signs elsewhere as he considers his options in free agency. But he seems set to do just that, and while the most-likely scenario still feels like Brady returning to the Patriots the team may simply not want to match the kind of contract he could get elsewhere if he wants to leave.
The Patriots could promise Brady a revamped set of weapons as part of their effort to keep him, or in an effort get him to take less money yet again. But (a presumably healthy) Newton with that same supplemented talent around him would have a ton of upside, and New England wouldn’t have to commit to the 2015 league MVP beyond 2020 until they saw him on the field.
The Patriots should know Brady’s plans better than any other team, now and looking toward March 18. But as they consider their own other options, Newton stands out.