I am not certain Gantt would say if he had heard about Richardon's reservations. Earlier he said Keep in mind, JR also went on TV and smushed Gantt publicly, so I'm not surprised if he isn't exactly super in the know when it comes to JR.
The thing I don't get here is why someone would make something like this up (not saying it's true, but...)
Why exactly is someone planting a story like this? To keep potential suitors from trading up with us so Cam would fall to them? That is possible, but they'd have to be damn well convinced we don't want him since one would hope Hurney wouldn't be fooled by another team's rumor that JR doesn't want Newton, lol.
The only thing I can think of is that if it's made up, it's because someone is *sure* that Newton isn't the "kind of kid" that JR would like so they're just madly speculating. But Freeman's report sounded like his source was saying something more than that.
If the Panthers want to make it known that they are leaning towards Newton but there still was some debate and possible room to take someone else, they would have to find a way to leave the door open but do it in a way that saves face in the event we don't get our price and pick Newton. Richardson would be a good way to do that.
On the other hand the speculation could be based on Richardson's reputation for staying away from guys with character issues. It may be true or it may be imagined. Either way it would be a good way to keep the reputation intact and account for why we would still pick him.
What I find hard to believe is that he would totally defer to his staff and not have the ultimate say in the pick. On the other hand I don't know if he has deferred with other picks such as Clausen for instance or how involved he actually gets in the decision process.