Cam Newton said during Super Bowl week that he was "absolutely" planning to return to the Panthers for the last year of his contract. Perhaps he would like to inquire with the owner of the team first.
David Tepper didn't seem nearly as confident as his one-time franchise quarterback.
"Listen, I'm not a doctor," the Panthers owner told the media on Tuesday. "I've said it a million times, is he healthy? He is not a doctor, so a lot of different things can happen. But is he healthy first? Tell me and then we can talk. "
It was a turbulent off-season for Carolina. He changed coaches and replaced Ron Rivera with former Baylor coach Matt Rhule. He broke away from Greg Olsen and saw star linebacker Luke Kuechly retire.
30-year-old Newton, who has spent the first nine seasons of his NFL career with the Panthers, missed 14 games this year with a Lisfranc fracture on his left foot. If it is distributed or cut, the Panthers could save $ 19 million. But before the Super Bowl, Newton sounded like he was coming back. At least that was his understanding.
"It is devastating not to have the coach who drew you, but at the same time you have to turn the page," he said. “I had an incredible conversation with Marty Hurney, the GM, David Tepper, the owner, and Coach Rhule, the new head coach. And I left this meeting inspired. And I said to them, "You won't find another person in this locker room who has more to prove, not just you, but I have to prove it to myself."