Cam Newton's future with the Carolina Panthers is in doubt, especially with the emergence of Kyle Allen igniting the team's resurgence as the team's starting quarterback. Newton, who has been out since Week 2 with a LisFranc injury and was placed on injured reserve last week, is already planning the next phase in his career and making sure his football future is secure.
Per NFL Network's Ian Rapoport, Newton is considering surgery on his foot with the hopes of returning by March. Of course that's the month the Panthers will have to make a decision on Newton and his $21.1 million non-guaranteed salary in 2020, the final year of his contract. Newton getting surgery and banking on a March return could be a sign he's searching for a new team for 2020, which would signal the end of his nine-year run in Carolina.
The Panthers still have to make a decision on Allen, which would also impact Newton's future. CBS Sports NFL Insider Jason La Canfora reported that . Allen hasn't been great as the Panthers starting quarterback (60.7%, 1,291 yards, 9 TD, 4 INT, 87.8 rating in six starts), but the Panthers are 5-1 and rebounded from an 0-2 start to the year (which Newton played a huge role in) since Allen replaced him as a starting quarterback. Allen is 29th in the league in completion percentage, 18th in touchdown percentage (4.7), 18th in interception percentage (2.1), 26th in yards per attempt (6.8), 24th in adjusted yards gained per pass attempt (6.8), 23rd in quarterback rating, and 30th in net yards gained per pass attempt (5.53).
Allen is ranked in the bottom half in the league in all these categories, but is also only making $495,000 this season and has just seven NFL starts under his belt. That's another interesting piece to the puzzle since the Panthers can save $19.1 million in cap space if they release or trade Newton, freeing up money to make a talented roster even better.
If Newton is 100 percent healthy by March, he's sending a message to other teams he will be available to lead them in 2020 and beyond with no setbacks on his foot. That also helps the Panthers as they can trade Newton and receiver compensation for the 30-year old quarterback.
Newton has started 124 games in his career, compiling a 68-55-1 record while completing 59.6 percent of his passes for 29,041 yards, 182 touchdowns, 108 interceptions and an 86.1 passer rating. He also has 4,806 rushing yards and 58 touchdowns, winning the 2015 NFL MVP award and earning three Pro Bowl selections.
In a quarterback-needy league, some team will take a flyer on Newton (). If Newton is 100 percent, that ups the stakes for the Panthers and Newton's future.