Cam Newton: Is Jimmy Clausen on His Way Out of Carolina?

Brian DiTullioSenior Writer IApril 28, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 28:  NFL COmmissioner Roger Goodell poses for a photo with Carolina Panthers #1 overall pick Cam Newton from Auburn during the 2011 NFL Draft at Radio City Music Hall on April 28, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Chris Trotman/Getty Images)
Chris Trotman/Getty Images

With Newton Headed To Carolina, Is Clausen On His Way Out?

The Carolina Panthers selected Cam Newton with the first overall pick in the draft and effectively closed the book on Jimmy Clausen after one season.

Clausen's first season was not very good. When you compare his play to Colt McCoy, who went one round later than Clausen and was stuck on a Cleveland team that was almost as bad as the Panthers, Clausen comes out on the short end.

Clausen appeared to have trouble adjusting to the pro game, did not have good footwork and made bad decisions.

By drafting Newton, the Panthers are saying the Clausen era in Carolina is over after one year. The new coaching staff obviously does not think Clausen can develop into a franchise quarterback and this is the message you have to take away from this.

Clausen sent a tweet out welcoming Newton to Carolina, but Clausen is just playing the PR game and taking the high road. Considering Clausen has a reputation for being a spoiled athlete, this is a sign he has matured as a person.

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With Newton in town as the No. 1 overall pick, the job is Newton's to lose. Assuming Clausen is not traded in the next week or so, Clausen theoretically has one more chance to take the starting job.

Newton comes into the Panthers camp with absolutely no knowledge of how to run a pro style offense. That much was proved by his appearance on Jon Gruden's Quarterback Camp. Clausen has had a year in the pros and that will give him an edge.

Of course, with Newton there, the Panthers may just want to cut ties with Clausen at the earliest juncture and see how much he is worth on the open market. It is a real possibility Clausen's worth is more now than it will be at the end of the year.

Even if Newton tanks his first year and they insert Clausen as an attempt to save the season, if Clausen falls on his face as well, his value goes down significantly.

As long as the NFL stays open for business, the future of Jimmy Clausen will remain an interesting one.