Report: Panthers' Richardson has reservation with Newton

The Carolina Panthers, according to a report by Mike Freeman of CBS Sports, are leaning toward selecting Auburn quarterback Cam Newton with the No. 1 pick in the draft.

There is one minor hangup right now, a little more than three weeks before the Panthers officially go on the clock, though. Per the report, owner Jerry Richardson isn’t “completely sold” on the Heisman Trophy winner. When personnel men and coaches make decisions that ownership doesn’t fully back, well, we know how that can turn out.

But Freeman’s sources tell him that Richardson will allow those he’s paying to make football decisions to go ahead and make football decisions.

It will be interesting to see what the Panthers do. They are desperately in need of a franchise quarterback and there isn’t much faith in Jimmy Clausen that last year’s second-round draft pick can emerge as that player. That leaves the Panthers handicapped in a division stocked with top arms with New Orleans’ Drew Brees, Atlanta’s Matt Ryan and Tampa Bay’s Josh Freeman. Tough to compete without a quarterback.

Freeman writes that he’s also heard the Panthers could trade down with the plan being to select Georgia wide receiver A.J. Green. And who exactly would be throwing the ball to Green in that scenario?

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune

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