Panthers' Matt Rhule faces major quarterback decision

Full Screen
1 / 9

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved

Carolina Panthers NFL football team's new head coach Matt Rhule talks to the media during a news conference at the teams practice facility, Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020, in Charlotte, N.C. (AP Photo/Mike McCarn)

CHARLOTTE, NC – One of the biggest decisions new Carolina Panthers coach Matt Rhule will have to make is choosing a quarterback — a move that could determine the direction of his tenure with the club and the franchise's future for years to come.

Rhule said Wednesday he spoke to Cam Newton after accepting the Panthers job, but added that it's way too early to make any decisions about the roster before sitting down and talking at length with general manager Marty Hurney.

“I did talk to Cam (on Tuesday) and I have the utmost respect for him and what he has done," Rhule said Wednesday during an introductory news conference at the team's new practice bubble. “And I love the way he talked to me quite honestly. He didn't want to talk about the past, he wanted to talk about the future."

But Rhule isn't quite ready to talk about the future just yet, "I would much rather talk to those guys and kind of get a feel for not just Cam, but all of the players on the roster, and really have a good process in place moving forward.”

Hurney, who kept his job after coach Ron Rivera was fired, said he has not discussed the quarterback situation with Rhule.

“That is something we will have to sit down and talk about,” Hurney said. "We have a guy who was the MVP of the NFL. And Matt knows that. This is all going to be a process. He is going to have to get to know these guys and get to know the roster. It's a process."

Much like Newton's playing status has been, which adds another element of uncertainty to the decision-making process.

The 31-year-old Newton missed 14 games last season with a Lisfranc foot injury and finished the season on injured reserve. Newton was the league's MVP in 2015, but has struggled with shoulder and foot injuries since and has lost his last eight starts for Carolina.