Shutdown Corner - NFL

Cam Newton(notes) wants to wear No. 2 in Carolina. Incumbent quarterback Jimmy Clausen(notes) already wears No. 2. CONFLICT!

The Auburn quarterback was the first pick of last week's NFL draft and was asked by reporters whether he wanted to continue wearing No. 2 in the pros. He said he would.

Now, judging by the accounts I've read, it doesn't sound like Newton expressly demanded Clausen give up his number. Rather, somebody probably asked him whether he wanted No. 2 without mentioning Clausen and he said "yes." I doubt it was phrased, "Cam, will your first order of business in Carolina be to shove Jimmy Clausen to the ground and steal the No. 2 jersey off his back?"

Intent aside, both men want the same number. Who should get it?

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Well, possession is nine-tenths of the law even in the locker room. While we know Newton isn't particularly concerned with the rules and mores of football society, if he wants Clausen's number, he should expect to pay for the privilege. If he doesn't want to fork over some of his signing bonus, then there's no reason for Clausen to give it up. He's already done enough for Newton by playing so poorly last year that Carolina was compelled to take Newton at No. 1. The least Cam can do is show some appreciation, Franklin-style.

It's not like the No. 2 is some sort of sacred jersey number for the rookie either. Newton wore No. 10 at Westlake High School in Georgia and No. 13 during his abbreviated two seasons at the University of Florida. It wasn't until he transferred to Blinn College in 2009 that he began wearing No. 2.

"It's mine right now," Clausen told reporters of the No. 2 jersey. "We'll see what happens."

Translation: Get out your checkbook. What do you think, shall we start the bidding at $200,000?

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