One of the biggest questions this NFL offseason may have now been answered. The future of Cam Newton remained in question after a shortened season that saw him eventually land on injured reserve to repair a Lisfranc injury in his foot. The Carolina Panthers front office and newly-signed head coach Matt Rhule made it very clear they would make no determinations on if Newton would remain in Charlotte or be traded until he was 100 percent healthy and they could evaluate the situation with all information on the table. That stance was initially doubled down upon at the opening of the NFL Combine in Indianapolis, but a new report strongly suggests the team has already made up its mind.
And in doing so, per Ian Rapoport of NFL Network, they've decided to keep Newton as starting quarterback for the 2020 season. It is key to note much can still take place between now and the 2020 NFL Draft that could see the Panthers change course, but this is at least promising for a team that would like to keep Newton on the roster -- if he's healthy. Newton is still several months away from being game-ready, but his progress has been viewed as "promising" by Rhule and team owner David Tepper.
And despite having battled injury in recent years, Newton is still viewed as a top-tier QB by many around the league. This is why the Panthers wouldn't be so apt to trade him away if they can help it.
Should they change their mind down the road, however, there will definitely be suitors in line to land his services. His next several medical evaluations will be the ultimate determinant in if the 30-year-old suits up for the Panthers come September, but stability at the position would help Rhule as he works to acclimate to the NFL just as much as it would help Newton re-establish himself and his brand. The three-time Pro Bowler still has much he'd like to prove in the league, and he's working to make sure 2020 is the year in which he does just that.
For now, that'll be with the Panthers, but keep an eye on this situation over the next several weeks.