What does Ron Rivera’s firing mean for the future of Cam Newton? It could mean he gets a fresh start in Carolina or he’s definitely being traded or cut.
Ron Rivera is out in Carolina, so does that give Cam Newton a better or worse chance to return?
The Carolina Panthers fired Ron Rivera who will likely find a job quickly either as a head coach or defensive coordinator before next season, but even more interesting is what the future holds for Newton who has been the subject of trade rumors.
Newton was placed on injured reserve, leading the way for second-year backup Kyle Allen to make a case for the starting role moving forward. Allen was signed as an undrafted free agent following the 2018 NFL Draft and is 5-5 as the Panthers’ starter this season, delivering some good and some not so good performances.
Quarterback is definitely not the biggest issue for Carolina. They have the worst-rated run defense according to DVOA and the 23rd overall defense. This team needs work to be able to contend in the NFC again.
Whoever the Panthers bring in as the next head coach will have a decision to make at quarterback though. Do they go with the promising young passer going into his third year or the former MVP coming off of a season-ending injury?
So what does Rivera’s firing mean for Newton? No matter what happens, Newton will be playing under a new head coach for the first time in his career.
One possibility is Newton stays in Charlotte. If the Panthers hire an offensive-minded coach who could work with Newton’s skill set and help him develop into a better passer, then next season could be a comeback year for him.
Some hot offensive coordinators who will very likely be interviewing for head coach jobs include Greg Roman from the Ravens, Brian Schottenheimer from the Seahawks and Kellen Moore from the Cowboys. All have helped their quarterbacks make the most of their talents.
Another option is the former MVP being released or traded. With either of those, he’ll likely end up on a quarterback-needy team where the starting role will be his to lose. Teams like the Bengals, Dolphins, Buccaneers, Bears, Broncos and Raiders (among others) could be looking to move in a new direction either through free agency or the draft.
Barring some crazy unforeseen move, Newton would likely be the quarterback on the market.
Teams like the Bears and Raiders are only a few pieces away from being legitimate contenders and the division-rival Buccaneers could pair Newton with offensive genius Bruce Arians.
Whether he stays in Carolina or tries to start over somewhere else, we likely will be seeing Newton starting somewhere at the beginning of next season unless he pulls a shocker like Andrew Luck and retires early due to his injuries.
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