It was just recently that Newton sustained a Lisfranc injury to his left foot, which ended up being much more serious than he initially let them to believe. After the severity became more clear and the team placed him on injured reserve just as the season was ending, Newton entered treatment.
Unfortunately, the injury hasn’t improved.
Despite the NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year awarded to him in 2011 and the name of 2015 NFL MVP behind Newton, the Panthers most likely won’t bring him back for the next season – and there are a few reasons why.
Now that he’s reached the last year of his 10-year Panthers contract, they won’t lose too much by cutting or trading him. And even before Newton’s latest injury, Newton’s running title as the team superman had been in the process of turning over to running back Christian McCaffrey.
It’s not hard to imagine that his next 10 years don’t have the same potential that his last decade has shown. Newton recently lost eight straight starts – not top quarterback material.
By saving money from Newton’s contract, the Panthers can fill several other positions they’ve been in need of.
“He’s one of the fiercest competitors I’ve been around during my 20-plus years in the league,” Carolina general manager Marty Hurney said Tuesday, after the announcement that Newton would be put on injured reserve.
But Newton’s fierce spirit isn’t ready to step down. He still believes he has great plays in him, and he wants to prove it. It explains why he was trying to cover up the injury at first – but he might have destroyed his career in the process.
But you can’t blame a Panther for fighting.