Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is recovering from shoulder surgery. Coach Ron Rivera shut down the idea of a team signing a free agent while speaking to reporters Thursday at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis. Photo by Aaron Josefczyk/UPI | License Photo
INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 28 (UPI) -- Ron Rivera says the Carolina Panthers aren't looking to sign free-agent quarterbacks -- including Colin Kaepernick -- to stabilize the position this offseason.
Rivera said the team most likely would look to the 2019 NFL Draft if it wanted to add to the quarterback position. Panthers starter Cam Newton is recovering from his second shoulder surgery in three years. Kaepernick has been linked to the team in the event that the Panthers need to sign someone if Newton isn't ready for the 2019 season.
Rivera said that the Panthers are happy with the current quarterbacks room, which also includes Taylor Heinicke and Kyle Allen.
"I think right now we are very pleased with where we are in terms of the quarterback position and very satisfied with what we got at the end of the year from both Taylor and Kyle," Rivera said Thursday at the NFL scouting combine.
"I think both guys showed that ability. If we did do anything it's probably going to be in the draft. We think developing a guy earlier is important going forward. But we really do feel strong about the two guys we have."
Allen, 22, completed 20-of-31 passes for 266 yards and two scores in two games last season for the Panthers. Heinicke, 25, completed 35-of-57 passes for 320 yards, one score and three interceptions in one start in 2018.
While Kaepernick has not publicly discussed his next potential NFL destination, his attorney, Mark Geragos, told CNN on Feb. 17 that he thought his client would sign with an NFL team within two weeks. He said he would not be surprised if Kaepernick signed with the New England Patriots.
Geragos also mentioned Kaepernick could sign with a team coached by one of Robert Kraft's former coaches, possibly referring to the Seattle Seahawks and Pete Carroll.
Geragos called the Panthers a "natural" pick for Kaepernick.
Rivera said that Panthers offensive coordinator Norv Turner has been "pretty satisfied" with the quarterback position.
"As I said, from what I've gotten on the reports, Cam's progress has been very good," Rivera said. "He's been getting his workouts in ... his rehab. Knowing that gives you a little confidence going forward."
Newton, 29, completed a career-high 67.9 percent of his passes for 3,395 yards, 24 scores and 13 interceptions in 14 starts last season. The three-time Pro Bowl selection and 2015 NFL MVP.