TEPPER ADAMANT: NEWTON’S FUTURE TIED TO FITNESS

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Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper is adamant. The club’s record-setting quarterback Cam Newton’s future with the club depends entirely on the injury-hit super star’s health

Newton struggled with a foot injury all of last season. The 30-year-old 2015 NFL MVP made just two appearances – and the Panthers suffered. They won only five of their 11 games

He’ll be out of contract come 2021. Not surprisingly, therefore, there have been recent doubts over the 2015 MVP’s future in Carolina. And this is especially so since Matt Rhule was appointed as the Panthers’ new head coach.

“Listen. I’m not a doctor,” Tepper told reporters on Tuesday. “I’ve asked it a million times, is he healthy? He’s not a doctor.

“There’s a lot of different things that can happen. Is he healthy? If so, then we can talk.”

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Fitness is the No 1 thing

Tepper added: “Look, I’ve said it again and again; it’s all a question of how healthy he is.

“That’s still the number one overwhelming thing. It’s to see how healthy he is and to figure out when he’ll be (fully) healthy again or not. Everything comes down to that.”

Before he ran into injury problems, Cameron Jerrel Newton was one of America’s leading quarterbacks of the modern era.

He is the only player to be awarded the Heisman Trophy, win a national championship and become the first overall pick in an NFL draft all in one year.

That was as an amateur. In the professional ranks he was named 2011 NFL Rookie of the Year, is a three-time Pro Bowler, and was voted NFL MVP in 2015.

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Newton broke all time NFL rookie records

In his rookie year, Newton broke the all-time NFL rookie records for passing and rushing yards. He was also the first NFL quarterback to throw for 400 yards in his first game – it shattering Peyton Manning’s record by 120 yards.

He also broke Otto Graham’s 61-year-old record for passing yards by any quarterback in an NFL debut.

It all helps to show what the big quarterback is capable when he is fully fit and fired up.

During his NFL career he has totaled 28,708 passing yards and completed 59% of his passes. He has also rushed for a career total of 4,806 yards for 58 touchdowns. And that’s nothing to sneeze at.

It will be a shame – for him personally, for his team and for football – if the 6ft 8in quarterback is unable to get back to his loftiest heights.

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