The Case for Trading Cam
Any trade involving Newton would boil down to a simple equation: expectations over his ability to stay healthy and be productive, measured against his contract. The former Auburn alumnus will be a free agent after the 2020 season, meaning the team will have to negotiate a potentially lucrative new deal should they intend to keep him in Carolina. With a number of star playmakers on both sides of the ball in need of new deals over the next three seasons, the merits of handing out a massive new contract to a player whose post-2015 career has been defined by injuries are shaky at best.
Outside of the financials, there remains the question over Allen and whether his early-career success will translate into long-term success for the Panthers. Strictly off the team’s record, a healthy Allen has the team moving in the right direction. If Ron Rivera believes that the team can win with Allen moving forward, Newton and his looming contract expiration become an albatross around the team’s figurative neck.
Despite being a difficult trade to negotiate, the ability to forge a successful deal should not be discounted. It is conceivable that the Panthers could command a sizable ransom from a potential playoff team that wants to enter ‘win now’ mode. As Yahoo.com columnist Dan Wetzel recently intimated, the Chicago Bears could certainly use an upgrade at the quarterback position; so too could the Pittsburgh Steelers, themselves caught beneath an avalanche of injuries. With the AFC North race suddenly open and questions over Ben Roethlisberger’s future lingering (not to mention their willingness to roll the dice on high risk, high reward trades), Pittsburgh could suddenly find itself discussing the possibilities.