I think Cam signs a one year extension with Carolina to reduce his risk of playing on a lame duck contract. That gives the Panthers more time to do their evaluation and allows Cam an opportunity to prove himself and get a piece of this QB market. That seems to be the best compromise for both sides.
Likely we will be picking 8-12th so I don't see the Panthers getting Joe Burrow. Tua may be there but there's risks with that as well. The free agent route includes somebody like Andy Dalton who will be a larger cap hit than Cam.
Tepper has stressed patience in building this team into a winner so I expect him to be patient with the decision on who he wants his QB to be for the next 3-5 years.
The "financial burden" from the Panthers side of it is only part of the equation though.
There's an amount that the Panthers are willing to pay. Right now, that's one year, 21 million dollars.
Is Newton willing to play under that contract without any future guarantees? Doesn't sound like it.
If he's not, and the Panthers aren't willing to offer more, then unless one side caves they're headed for a split.
Maybe it isn't the most ideal decision from the football side, but the football side isn't all there is to it and you can't always get what you hope for