Panthers owner David Tepper isn't totally sold on Cam Newton's return

Tanya Simon
February 13, 2020

Tepper's response arrived after he was pressed to address Newton's statement during Super Bowl week that he "absolutely" expects to play for the Panthers next season.

Unfortunately, the battering ram style that Cam Newton plays with hasn't helped him in the health department, as he's missed 16 games combined over the past couple of seasons, which has led to many wondering what's left in the tank for the 30-year-old quarterback.

Newton said in an interview with CBS Sports Radio that he based his confidence in returning to Carolina on a meeting he had with Tepper and general manager Marty Hurney.

"That's still the overwhelming number one thing is to see how healthy he is, and how we can figure out when he is healthy or not", Tepper said. "And everything comes from that".

"I've said it again and again and again, it's a question of how healthy he is, foot and otherwise", Tepper told reporters. "I've said it a million times". He's not a doctor. "Tell me that, and then we can talk".

Tepper said Newton's future with the organization essentially comes down to health, and the team will make no determination whether he will stay or go until they have clarity on how he is physically. Through Classroom Central, the Panthers' $120,000 donation will provide new school supplies to a total of 800 classrooms in 17 Title I Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools.

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"I left that meeting inspired", Newton said on the radio show.

When asked directly about Newton's comments, Tepper declined to share the sentiment.

Is Cam Newton done with the Panthers? The second half of the 2018 season, as well as the 2019 season as a whole, arguably illustrated that he was the one thing keeping Carolina from total oblivion. The second-year Panthers owner already initiated a house-cleaning in his image, replacing longtime head coach Ron Rivera with National Football League head-coaching rookie Matt Rhule.

The team is entering a phase of rebuilding with linebacker Luke Kuechly retiring this offseason and the Panthers parting ways with Greg Olsen, despite the veteran tight end expressing a desire to remain in Carolina.

He's not playing sentimental with Newton, the team's quarterback of nine years and the biggest name in franchise history.

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