Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper told reporters Tuesday he has "no idea" whether or not Cam Newton will require offseason surgery for the shoulder injury that prematurely ended his 2018 campaign, according to Joe Person of The Athletic.
The quarterback missed the Panthers' final two games of the regular season after appearing to be hampered for several contests.
Tepper went on to say the team will keep its options open for Newton's treatment and recovery. He noted the Panthers would need to clear cap space to add another quarterback if Newton's shoulder doesn't improve in time for the beginning of the 2019 season.
"If you told me he took a year off and could recover and be fully recovered and everything else, and that's what it took, an extra year, why wouldn't you do (that)?" Tepper said, according to ESPN's David Newton.
"Now we would have to do other things, right? We'd have to go out and get another quarterback. If you could find me some more cap space I'd appreciate that."
The former MVP and three-time Pro Bowler finished his eighth NFL season with a completion percentage of 67.9 for 3,395 yards and 24 touchdowns against 13 interceptions. The dual-threat signal-caller also rushed for 488 yards and four scores over 14 games.
"Hopefully, Cam's shoulder is fantastic, right? And we're hunky dory, all fantastic,'' Tepper said. "If it's not, you may need more cap space. You may need to go out and find somebody. If you don't, you guys are going to be writing what a dope we are here. Why did we make these other moves?
"So think about that. You want to keep your options open, put yourself in best position as you can to win, and I'm talking again for the long term.''
Newton led the Panthers to a 6-8 record in his starts. They finished the season 7-9 for third in the NFC South.