Gettleman Expresses Faith In Newton, Rivera

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - Panthers general manager Dave Gettleman have expressed confidence in quarterback Cam Newton and coach Ron Rivera following the team's first playoff season in five years.

When asked Tuesday if he viewed Newton as the team's franchise quarterback moving forward, Gettleman responded definitively, "Yes." He quickly smiled and added, "No seven-second pause, was there?"

Gettleman raised questions about the QB in August when he paused briefly before discussing Newton's future as the team's long-term quarterback.

The GM says Newton proved to him this year that he is a franchise QB, saying, "He flat proved it."

As for Rivera, Gettleman says, "I have the ultimate faith in Ron."

But Gettleman wouldn't discuss contract situations of Newton or Rivera on Tuesday after a 12-4 season. Their contracts expire after the 2014 season.