Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper did not rule out the possibility that quarterback Cam Newton might miss the 2019 season as he recovers from a right shoulder injury.
Tepper spoke Tuesday with reporters at Bank of America Stadium about the state of the Panthers, who finished their regular season at 7-9. Newton missed the final two games of the season because of a sore shoulder, which was surgically repaired two years ago.
A reporter asked Tepper to compare Newton’s injury situation with that of Andrew Luck, who sat out the 2017 season because of a shoulder injury and came back strong this season.
“If you told me he took a year off and could recover and be fully recovered and everything else, and that’s what it took, an extra year, why wouldn’t you do [that]?” Tepper said. “Now, we would have to do other things, right? We’d have to go out and get another quarterback. If you could find me some more cap space, I’d appreciate that.”
Newton, who will turn 30 in May, is a three-time Pro Bowl selection who has passed for 182 touchdowns and rushed for 58 more in his first eight seasons with Carolina. In 14 starts last season, he passed for 3,395 yards, 24 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while rushing for 488 yards and four scores.
If Newton opts for another surgery or simply decides to rest his arm, the Panthers could choose from several veteran quarterbacks to help fill the void. Nick Foles, Teddy Bridgewater, Tyrod Taylor and Ryan Fitzpatrick likely would be among the options.
“Hopefully, Cam’s shoulder is fantastic, right?” Tepper said. “And we’re hunky dory, all fantastic. If it’s not, you may need more cap space. You may need to go out and find somebody. If you don’t, you guys are going to be writing what a dope we are here. … You want to put yourself as best you can in a position to win, and I’m talking for the long term.”