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Panthers 'want' Cam Newton; Vikings expected to keep Stefon Diggs

Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is entering the final year of his contract. File Photo by Nell Redmond/UPI.
Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton is entering the final year of his contract. File Photo by Nell Redmond/UPI. | License Photo

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 26 (UPI) -- The Carolina Panthers and Minnesota Vikings plan to keep stars Cam Newton and Stefon Diggs, respectively, on their rosters until further notice.

New Panthers coach Matt Rhule committed to Newton on Tuesday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. Rhule, who was hired in January, said that he "wants" the veteran quarterback to remain on the roster, despite his recent history of injuries and underperformance.

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Newton, 30, is entering the final year of his five-year, $103.8 million contract. The 2015 NFL MVP completed 56.2 percent of his throws for 572 yards and an interception in two starts last season before being shut down in December due to a foot injury. Newton also missed time last season because of shoulder issues.

Rhule did not name Newton as the Panthers' starting quarterback in 2020, saying that he didn't want to say that any player on the roster was a starter yet.

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"That being said, I don't think that has anything to do with Cam. That just has to do with overall philosophy," Rhule said. "When it comes to Cam, Cam's a special player. Really the only thing that matters right now is getting him healthy. But I want to make sure I say I'm excited to have him here. I want him to be here. I want to coach him."

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Newton is 68-55-1 as a starting quarterback. He led the Panthers to a Super Bowl appearance in 2016. The three-time Pro Bowl selection had foot surgery in December. He is rehabilitating this off-season in Atlanta.

Newton posted an Instagram video Tuesday, saying he wanted "commitment," possibly referencing the desire for a contract extension from the Panthers.

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"I'm so comfortable with being uncomfortable," the Panthers quarterback said in the video while working out. "All I want is a little commitment. And you can't give me that?"

Diggs -- who has been rumored in trades for the last year -- has several years remaining on his contract. The star wide receiver had his second consecutive 1,000-yard season in 2019.

"He's not only a major part of our offense and a major part of our organization winning games, but he also does a lot of things for this organization off the field," Vikings general manager Rick Spielman said Tuesday.

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"There's no reason -- the rumors or whatever you're talking about -- to anticipate that Stefon Diggs is not going to be a Minnesota Viking. When you have some of the offensive talent that we have, with him and [Adam] Thielen together, with Rudy [Kyle Rudolph] and [tight end] Irv Smith, with [running backs] Dalvin Cook and [Alexander] Mattison, we have a pretty good support cast around our quarterback."

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