Apparently, at least one more, as they have scheduled a private workout with Newton for sometime next week.
Not only that, but they still plan to bring Newton into Charlotte for a meeting with team officials sometime before the late April draft (which will still be held regardless of the current labor negotiations).
What to make of all this interest? I have two competing theories:
1) The Panthers are going to take Newton. All of these repeated job interviews are just making sure. He's got great size, he plays the most important position on the field, it's a huge need for Carolina, plus he's got charisma, he wins, they think the wild-card father can be kept out of the mix.... they are going to harness the franchise to Newton.
2) The Panthers want everyone else in the NFL to believe they are about to take Newton. Why? This makes his trade value higher. Newton is the most marketable asset in the draft (eight other teams have scheduled private workouts with him too). If other teams believe Carolina doesn't want him and is fairly desperate to get out of that No.1 slot, then why offer a lot? But if Carolina can say, "Well, we really want him, as you can see, but if you throw in a couple more draft picks and that veteran quarterback you have sitting over there, then we'll consider it..." that's better for the Panthers.
Maybe you've got another theory that's even more plausible and if so, I'd like to hear it. Otherwise, which one do you buy? Right now, I'm leaning toward No.1.
6 months ago