NFL notebook: QB Newton’s future depends on health


Carolina Panthers owner David Tepper reiterated on Tuesday that the future of Cam Newton won’t be decided until the quarterback’s health is known.

“It’s a question of how healthy he is, foot and otherwise,” Tepper told a group of reporters in Charlotte. “That’s still the No. 1 overwhelming thing. … And everything comes from that.”

Asked about Newton’s assertion during Super Bowl week that he would be back with the Panthers, Tepper replied, “I’m not a doctor. I’ve said it a million times — is he healthy? He’s not a doctor. So there’s a lot of different things that can happen, but first, is he healthy? Tell me that and we can talk.”

Newton, who is recovering from December surgery for a Lisfranc injury in his left foot, said two weeks ago in Miami that he “had an unbelievable conversation” with general manager Marty Hurney, Tepper, and new head coach Matt Rhule, saying he “left that meeting inspired.” He added that he will “absolutely” be back with the Panthers in 2020.

—The Dallas Cowboys hope to sign quarterback Dak Prescott to a long-term extension before the window to use the franchise tag closes on March 10, NFL Network reported.

Per the report, the Cowboys will use the tag on Prescott if no deal can be completed by then, but they would prefer to complete an extension beforehand.

That would free up the franchise tag to potentially use on another pending free agent, such as wide receiver Amari Cooper or cornerback Byron Jones. Because 2020 is the final year of the collective bargaining agreement, the Cowboys could also use the transition tag in addition to the franchise tag, if they want to tag two players.

—The Washington Redskins are mending fences with stalwart left tackle Trent Williams, and the icy relationship between the sides “is thawing a little bit,” NFL Network reported.

Williams, who previously had not been returning phone calls from the organization, reportedly called back new head coach Ron Rivera and had “a very positive” conversation.

The report added that the next step would be for Williams to visit the facility and hash out any remaining concerns. There is optimism that Williams could return to the team to play in 2020, months after he was considered a very likely trade candidate this offseason.

—The Jacksonville Jaguars are hiring former New York Giants head coach Ben McAdoo as their quarterbacks coach, ESPN reported.

McAdoo, 42, has spent the last two years out of the NFL since being fired by the Giants before the end of his second season. He was let go after a 2-10 start in 2017, less than a year after helping New York go 11-5 and reach the playoffs.

A 14-year veteran NFL coach, McAdoo spent two years as the Giants’ offensive coordinator (2014-15) after eight years with the Green Bay Packers (2006-13), including the final two as quarterbacks coach.

—The Buffalo Bills and defensive tackle Star Lotulelei agreed to a restructured contract, according to an ESPN report.

Per the report, Lotulelei’s base salary will drop from $6.25 million to $4.5 million in 2020, but the figure is now fully guaranteed. Additionally, $2.5 million of his $6.5 million base salary in 2021 has been guaranteed for injury.

Lotulelei is entering the third year of a five-year, $50 million contract signed as a free agent in March of 2018. He will count $8.35 million against the cap in 2020 and $10.85 million in 2021, though Buffalo could save $5.65 million in 2021 with his release next offseason.

—Cornerback Davon House retired as a Green Bay Packer, ending an eight-year NFL career.

House, 30, did not play in the NFL in 2019, but he spent six years with the Packers in two separate stints (2011-14, 2017-18).

In between, House joined the Jacksonville Jaguars on a four-year, $24.5 million contract, playing two seasons before his release. He shined in his first year in Jacksonville, picking off four passes, breaking up 23 and collecting 60 tackles.

—Field Level Media