CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Cam Newton is a “large fan” of Antonio Brown.
The Carolina Panthers quarterback informed the disgruntled Pittsburgh Steelers broad receiver simply that final summer season whereas arranging a pre-training camp exercise session.
“I informed him, ‘I am coming to you. You do not have to fret about getting me a lodge or no matter. I simply actually need to see how can I implement among the issues that you simply do and type of sit again and be in awe,'” Newton mentioned in November earlier than a Thursday night time sport towards the Steelers. “And I used to be.”
Newton known as Brown a “nocturnal beast” due to his late-night exercises, the second or third of the day. Each stars posted footage on social media of them tooling round Miami in luxurious rides, enjoying catch on the sector and sweating within the weight room.
“I had to determine the components to the No. 2 juice,” Newton mentioned on social media, referring to Brown being ranked second on the NFL’s prime 100 gamers listing earlier than final season.
Simply don’t search for Newton and Brown to hold on this relationship as teammates.
Brown, 30, has requested the Steelers for a commerce that administration will attempt to make occur. There are logical causes to suppose Carolina could be a very good match past Newton being a fan of Brown, a seven-time Professional Bowl choice who since 2013 has averaged 114 catches, 1,524 yards and 11 touchdowns per season.
The Panthers look like transferring on from soon-to-be free agent Devin Funchess, who entered final season because the crew’s No. 1 receiver earlier than shedding that job to first-round decide DJ Moore. Administration want to encompass Newton with extra weapons as he comes off shoulder surgical procedure for the second time in three offseasons.
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Proprietor David Tepper is a local of Pittsburgh and was a minority proprietor of the Steelers earlier than buying the Panthers final 12 months.
Nonetheless, there are extra causes the Panthers received’t be out there for Brown. Barring a restructuring of his contract, he’ll price $15.2 million in salary-cap house and certain a second- or third-round draft decide.
The Panthers have simply over $15 million in cap house and have extra urgent wants than receiver, starting with rebuilding the offensive line to guard Newton.
Carolina already has Moore, who has the potential to be an all-around menace like Brown and at a low price for the following three to 4 seasons. Moore had 55 catches for 788 yards and two touchdowns as a rookie, most of that coming within the second half of the season because the offense transitioned away from Funchess.
It is common for receivers to enhance after their rookie seasons, after all — in spite of everything, Brown had solely 16 catches for 167 yards and no touchdowns as a rookie in 2010.
The Panthers even have working again Christian McCaffrey, who has led the crew in receptions the previous two seasons, together with 107 this previous season to set the NFL single-season report for a working again.
With Professional Bowl tight finish Greg Olsen anticipating a full restoration from foot surgical procedure, there may not be sufficient passes to go round for those who add Brown to the combo.
Then there’s the age issue. Brown will flip 31 earlier than the season. The Panthers have already got 30-year-old veteran Torrey Smith on the roster to assist develop a younger corps that features Moore and 2017 second-round decide Curtis Samuel.
Additionally, Brown’s on-field and off-the-field antics may make him extra a disruption to the locker room than a pacesetter. Steelers coach Mike Tomlin admitted late final season that Brown’s habits resulted in a stage of “disappointment.”
So Brown sporting Carolina black and blue doesn’t seem to be a match, though it will be enjoyable to look at the eye he and Newton would obtain on many ranges.
Newton considers himself probably the most fashionable gamers within the NFL. Brown is also about excessive vogue, from his fur coats to his red-bottomed Louboutin sneakers that price north of $1,000. He has known as his model one of the best “drip’’ within the NFL.
“Individuals do not realize that soccer gamers have simply as a lot model as the opposite sport gamers,’’ Newton mentioned.
The offseason and preseason exercises additionally would draw a crowd. As phrase of Newton and Brown understanding in Miami unfold, different gamers started exhibiting up. Think about how followers would swarm to coaching camp to look at the 2, though it’s unsure when Newton can be allowed to throw after present process arthroscopic surgical procedure on his proper shoulder.
Ace Boogie Bombs @CameronNewton #WhatyouWaitinOn#LetItFly #instride pic.twitter.com/VmfhUy03BB
— Antonio Brown (@AB84) June 27, 2018
“His mentality is completely different,” Newton mentioned of Brown. “His work ethic is supreme and superior, and it reveals on Sundays.”
It simply received’t present as a member of the Panthers.