Will Cam Newton accept David Tepper’s offer to retire as a Panther?
By Dean Jones
Cam Newton’s resentment is justified
Cam Newton has every right to still feel a sense of resentment towards the Carolina Panthers. The quarterback lifted the organization’s profile to a level not seen throughout their brief history and to say he deserved a little better when he eventually departed would be something of an understatement.
In truth, the Panthers should have cut ties with Newton the moment they signed Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million deal with a $15 million signing bonus and $33 million guaranteed. Instead, they waited until late in the free agency period when there were few options to start elsewhere.
This motivated Newton to hit the ground running. But joining a New England Patriots team that was devoid of weapons in the passing game and contracting COVID-19 when momentum was building made things enormously difficult away from Carolina.
Whether Bill Belichick gives Newton another shot with plenty of options and cap-space this offseason is up for debate. The signal-caller might find himself back at square one when it comes to prolonging his career at the next level, with the prospect of such a big personality occupying a backup role simply unfathomable.
Speaking to Chad Johnson’s podcast recently, Newton did nothing to put out the flames between himself and the Panthers, claiming the new regime was intimidated by his presence and cast him aside.
"“Honestly, I intimidated the franchise that I was at. . . . Where that franchise was going, I was not in the plans. There was a lot of behind-the-scenes talk that I wasn’t privy to about the plans moving forward. I wasn’t in the plans. But that’s the business and I learned that. I respect Matt Rhule and David Tepper for putting me through that experience.”"
Whether this is true or not is up for debate. But there could be some work to do in the coming years to ready a possible reunion with Newton upon his retirement.