The Panthers Look Like They're Stuck With Cam Newton

Cam Newton and a very large hat.
Cam Newton and a very large hat. / Cindy Ord/Getty Images

The Carolina Panthers seem to have made a decision about their quarterback situation. According to Ian Rapoport, new coach Matt Rhule and his coaching staff like the way Cam Newton's rehab is going and they are content waiting for him to return.

This could be sincere. It's tough to find a legitimate high-level quarterback in the NFL and the Panthers have one under contract this season. If Newton will be healthy by September, he's a much more attractive option than Will Grier, Kyle Allen, or a number of the other available options.

However, Newton is still a free agent in 2021. If the Panthers stick with him this season and he's good, they could lose him for nothing next spring. Plus, we still don't really have a timetable for his return. Last week Rapoport said that he was on track to begin football activities in March. Today Rapoport tweeted that he is "several" months away. Is that three or nine? Will he be at training camp or hobbled through another season?

If this is just posturing by the Panthers, you have to wonder if they missed their chance to trade Newton. There has been talk about trading him since last season and the time left on his contract continues to shrink. If Newton doesn't make some serious leaps then who would trade for him? Newton hasn't played since September 12th and the Panthers don't appear to be any closer to having an answer.