It looks like Cam Newton is already planning for his next destination next season.
After the former NFL MVP was ruled out for the season by the Carolina Panthers due to a foot injury, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports that the Panthers are likely to trade Newton during the offseason and that the veteran quarterback is targeting one particular NFC team — none other than the Chicago Bears.
The Panthers are currently riding high with Kyle Allen as their starter, posting a 5-1 record with the former undrafted free agent as their starting quarterback.
With Newton’s contract non-guaranteed after this season – he has one year left on his deal at $18.6 million next season — it makes him an easy piece to trade.
Newton Could Be The Bears’ Missing Piece
The Bears are a well-built team and would be considered Super Bowl contenders if not for their troubling situation at quarterback in Mitch Trubisky. The third-year quarterback has been dreadful and there are real questions surrounding his future in Chicago despite being the second overall draft pick in the 2017 NFL Draft.
In other words, Newton may be the piece that lifts Chicago from on the outside looking in to being possible Super Bowl contenders. Although Newton is four years removed from leading the Panthers to the Super Bowl, he’s proven he can do it before.
Furthermore, Newton was actually coming off of a 2018 campaign which saw him have a resurgent season. The veteran quarterback threw for 24 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and posted a 94.2 quarterback rating — the second-highest of his career.
With Newton sidelined and resting until March, the time off could be what he needs to revive his career in another place — such as Chicago.
Has Cam Newton Played His Last Game in Carolina?
As mentioned earlier, Newton is out for the season and was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday due to his foot injury, via Jenna West of Sports Illustrated.
“For the past seven weeks, Cam has diligently followed a program of rest and rehab and still is experiencing pain in his foot,” Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said in a statement. “He saw two foot specialists last week who agreed that he should continue that path prescribed by the team’s medical staff, and that it likely will take significant time for the injury to fully heal.
“We have said all along that it is impossible to put a timetable on this injury. Nobody is more frustrated with that fact than Cam.”
While starting just two games this season, Newton went 0-2, completing just 56.2 percent of his passes while failing to throw a touchdown.
By comparison, Allen has put the Panthers in the thick of the NFC playoff race at 5-3 and has outperformed Newton, throwing for 1,291 yards and nine touchdowns. Perhaps most importantly, he’s cheap. The undrafted free agent earns just $495,000 this season and wouldn’t earn nearly as much as Newton earns next season.
Long story short, expect the Panthers and Newton to move on from one another next season — and don’t be surprising if Newton is leading the Bears in 2020.