With many quarterback situations still up in the air, it sounds like Cam Newton will stay a Panther in 2020.

“A lot can still happen in the coming months, but as of now, the #Panthers are moving forward with Cam Newton as their starting QB, sources say,” Ian Rapoport tweeted on Tuesday. “While his foot is healing well, it will be several months until it’s game-ready — a timeline that complicates any potential trade.”

The latest news is a stark pivot from an in-season report from Rapoport in which he characterized Newton’s return to the Panthers as “highly unlikely.”

The former Heisman Trophy winner from Auburn was selected No. 1 overall in the 2011 NFL Draft. Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP, suffered a Lisfranc injury in his left foot on Aug. 22 against the Patriots. He missed all but two games in the regular season, forcing the Panthers to resort to turning to backup Kyle Allen.

Allen, 23, completed 62 percent of passes for 3,322 yards, 17 touchdowns and 16 interceptions in 13 games.

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Concerns surrounding the 30-year-old Newton’s longevity in conjunction with an offseason of change in Carolina has prompted speculation that Newton would be traded. The team parted ways with head coach Ron Rivera and tight end Greg Olsen.

In 2015, Newton inked a five-year, $103.8 million contract that includes a $22.5 million bonus and $60 million guaranteed, according to Spotrac. His 2020 cap hit is $21.1 million, but his dead cap hit is just $2 million, down from $9 million in 2019.

This means the Panthers could free up over $19 million in cap space if they were to cut or trade Newton. However, a dearth of better available options and an expensive free-agency market makes this a less appealing option, assuming Newton can stay healthy.

“#Panthers coach Matt Rhule and his staff have been encouraged with how Cam Newton has treated his rehab and how intent he is to get back to top form,” Rapoport added. “He’s spent plenty of time in town. With so much to rebuild in other areas, having a legit starter in place eases the transition.”