The Panthers have made it clear Cam Newton’s their franchise quarterback.
And even though there’s nothing new on the contract that will keep him there for the long-term, he’s not even thinking about putting pressure on them to do so sooner.
Newton, appearing with our own Mike Florio on the Dan Patrick Show, said there was no chance he’d hold out on the Panthers in hopes of exerting pressure on the team to do a new deal.
“Absolutely not,” he replied.
While Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson said he wouldn’t rule out a holdout, Newton said the leadership burden of his position made his status different.
“I think our positions are completely different,” Newton said of Peterson. “Being the leader of this team, I don’t think that would be a good look for me. Not taking anything away from Patrick, he’s an unbelievable player, and an elite corner in the league. But there’s some things cornerbacks can do that quarterbacks can’t.
“I’m not worried about contract discussions right now. My main focus is just becoming the better player I can become.”
That’s good news for the Panthers, who are trying to add stability this offseason. They’ve already extended coach Ron Rivera, and are trying to hang onto as much of the young core that went 12-4 last season. Newton said he wasn’t concerned with contract talks at the moment, saying he was more worried about getting better as a player now that fellow youngster Russell Wilson was celebrating a Super Bowl win.
“I don’t think that’s my main focus right now,” Newton said of contractual matters. “My main focus is trying to become a better player. I think Russell Wilson put a lot of pressure on young quarterbacks, but needless to say, we don’t have that fallback answer no more. We’re no longer young quarterbacks.
“Going into my fourth year, I want to make that leap, make that stride to be a marquee quarterback in this league.”
And doing so means being there from Day 1, and not letting business get in the way of his football.