GM defends Newton decision
QB ‘wanted to play’ despite shoulder injury, Panthers say.
Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman isn’t second-guessing the team’s decision to allow Cam Newton to continue to play last season despite a partially torn rotator cuff in his right throwing shoulder.
“Cam is a football player and he wanted to play and the medical people felt it was fine, so we did,” Gettleman said Friday.
Newton played the final three games of the 2016 season even though Carolina’s playoff hopes were essentially over with a 5-8 record.
The Panthers hoped rest and rehabilitation this offseason would solve the problem, but that didn’t work out. The team announced earlier this week Newton would need shoulder surgery Thursday.
Newton will miss all of OTAs and minicamp, but Gettleman reiterated that he expects the six-year NFL veteran back in time for the start of training camp in late July.
Panthers coach Ron Rivera said last December that an MRI on Newton’s shoulder was clean after the team’s Week 14 win over the San Diego Chargers.
Although the team never disclosed the partially torn rotator cuff in the media, Rivera did limit the quarterback’s reps in practice and included him on the injury report the rest of the season.
Gettleman also said the team plans to pick up the fifth-year option on Kelvin Benjamin’s rookie contract. That will pay Benjamin about $8 million in 2018.
Jets: GM Mike Maccagnan says it is “highly unlikely” New York will add another veteran quarterback after signing Josh McCown earlier this week.
Maccagnan added during a conference call Friday that any other potential additional quarterback would likely come through the draft. The Jets have the No. 6 overall pick, and the GM says he likes the team’s options at that spot, but is also “ideally” looking to get more picks in this year’s draft.
Bears: Continued their quarterback makeover by signing veteran Mark Sanchez, who is expected to back up Mike Glennon next season. Sanchez, signed to a one-year contract, gives Chicago an experienced backup to pair with developmental prospect Connor Shaw.
Sanchez was released by Denver last year after losing a preseason competition for the starting job to Trevor Siemian. He backed up NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Dak Prescott in Dallas, playing in two games.
Redskins: Signed former Rams wide receiver Brian Quick, adding depth at a position where they lost DeSean Jackson and Pierre Garcon in free agency. Quick, 27, is 6-foot-5 and gives Washington another tall option along with recently signed receiver Terrelle Pryor. Quick had 41 catches for 564 yards and three touchdowns last season with the Rams.
Colts: Released defensive tackle Arthur Jones. A six-year veteran, Jones was scheduled to cost the team $7.35 million next season. Indianapolis will save $5 million under the salary cap with the move. Jones did his best work while with Baltimore from 2010-14. He then signed a five-year contract for a total value of $33 million with the Colts, but struggled with multiple injuries in Indianapolis.
Jaguars: Signed defensive end Malliciah Goodman, who appeared in 37 career games for the Falcons, getting 29 tackles, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
Carolina QB Cam Newton is scheduled for surgery next week.