After losing out on the Deshaun Watson sweepstakes, the Panthers are a team whose quarterback position is still in flux.
General Manager Scott Fitterer said in a Friday press conference that Sam Darnold, who started 11 games for the team last season and carries a guaranteed $18.8 million guaranteed salary, is still in the lead to be the team’s QB1 entering 2022.
But all options remain on the table for the club — including Cam Newton.
After being released by the Patriots at the start of the regular season, Newton made his way back to the Panthers at midseason. But Carolina was 0-5 in Newton’s starts, with the quarterback completing 55 percent of his passes for 684 yards with four touchdowns and five interceptions in his eight appearances. He also rushed for 230 yards ad five TDs.
“The thing with Cam is it’s got to be a fit for us and it’s got to be a fit for him just as well,” Fitterer said. “He’s looking for a certain opportunity. And the door’s still open for us. We’re very open to Cam. We’ll see where it goes. He knows where we stand. I think he and Matt [Rhule] had a really good conversation, from my understanding. So we’ll just see where it goes.”
Newton was the league MVP in 2015 while also leading the Panthers to an appearance in Super Bowl 50. But after the last two seasons with New England and Carolina, it might be difficult for Newton to enter the season as a team’s unquestioned QB1 in 2022.