Cam Newton has had an injury-plagued start to the 2019 season. The former NFL MVP has made just two appearances this season, with his last coming in the brutal Sept. 12 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Panthers were 0-2 with the franchise quarterback under center. He completed just over 56-percent of his passes, down from over 67-percent in 2018, for 572 yards and an interception.
Perhaps more telling: Newton's complete reluctance to use his legs in those two games. He ran a grand total of five times for -2 yards.
In his stead, second-year quarterback Kyle Allen has been incredibly impressive. He has completed over 65-percent of his throws, for 901 yards, seven touchdowns, and no interceptions.
More impressively, the Panthers are 4-0 since Cam went down with injury.
He's close to returning from his foot injury, which obviously raises major questions for the team. Allen remains the starter ahead of the Panthers' Week 8 game against the undefeated San Francisco 49ers, as Newton continues to rehab.
Not everyone is out on Newton. He played very well when healthy last year, and remains one of the best athletes at the position in the league. According to Bleacher Report's Mike Freeman, there are some teams that are "highly interested" in acquiring the former MVP ahead of the Oct. 29 trade deadline, but the Panthers are unlikely to move him.
From Freeman's 10-Point Stance column, in which he gives Cam Newton a five-percent chance of getting dealt:
"Yes, he's struggled with injuries the past few seasons, but I can tell you for certain that teams are highly interested in him. Still, the former MVP is revered inside the organization, and his contract isn't trade-friendly."
It would be hard to get appropriate value back for the type of player Newton is when healthy, but if Allen keeps performing the way he has, the team will have a real difficult decision to make down the road.