Ron Rivera: Panthers Could Bring in New QB to Challenge Cam Newton

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistFebruary 15, 2019

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 11:  Head coach Ron Rivera and Cam Newton #1 of the Carolina Panthers talk during warm ups against the San Diego Chargers at Bank of America Stadium on December 11, 2016 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)
Grant Halverson/Getty Images

After an up-and-down 2018 season from Cam Newton, the Carolina Panthers might add another quarterback to motivate their starter.

Head coach Ron Rivera liked the idea of creating competition when asked about it on First Take Friday.

"I don't disagree with that because if there is one thing that he likes it's to be challenged. Bringing in another quarterback, bringing in somebody to compete with him most certainly does motivate him," Rivera said of Newton, via Max Henson of the team's official website. "But more so than anything else, the naysayers, those whispers, those are motivating enough for him."   

Newton was the NFL's MVP in 2015 but has been inconsistent over the past three years. He bounced back last year with a 94.2 quarterback rating, the second-highest of his career, while throwing 3,395 passing yards in 14 games. 

He was responsible for 28 total touchdowns before a shoulder injury ended his season. He underwent an arthroscopic procedure in January.

While he will be the unquestioned starter as long as he is healthy, he hasn't faced much competition on the depth chart.

Taylor Heinicke was the primary backup last season and Kyle Allen also got a start—both of them are former undrafted free agents. Derek Anderson was the No. 2 behind Newton for the previous seven years but was never really a threat to win the starting job despite his experience.

Adding another legitimate quarterback, either through the draft or free agency, could force Newton to step up his game and help the Panthers reach expectations.

On the other hand, Rivera also noted a priority going into the offseason will be to add offensive linemen and playmakers to "take pressure off the quarterback."

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