Happy Birthday, Cam Newton

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It seems like only yesterday that Panthers quarterback Cam Newton was a rookie, trying to live up to the potential of being the No. 1 overall pick. And he’s now officially inching toward 30.

Yes, it’s Newton’s 29th birthday. And his present came a little early: Offensive coordinator Norv Turner.

Darin Gantt of PFT joined Friday’s PFT Live to discuss the changes to the team’s offense, whether the changes will suit Newton, and more. One subject that could be sticking in Newton’s craw could be his contract. Signed to a long-term deal three years ago that averages $20.7 million per year (at a time when the high-water mark was $22.13 million annually), Newton now finds himself sliding down the list of highest-paid quarterbacks, with numerous younger and less accomplished quarterbacks making much more than him.

Unfortunately for Newton, he’s signed through 2020. And the team will soon have a new owner, who may or may not want a G.M. who may or may not want a coach who may or may not want to give Newton $30 million or more per year.

So Newton’s birthday wish may be in the short term a return to normalcy followed by clarity regarding where he fits into the plans of the post-Jerry Richardson Panthers.