CHARLOTTE — Jimmy Clausen and Cam Newton took the field together for the first time Saturday at a charity kickball game - and both were wearing No. 2.
Newton, the Auburn quarterback drafted No.1 overall by the Panthers, wants Clausen's jersey number - not to mention his job.
And while Clausen has been gracious in welcoming Newton via Twitter and a personal text message, the second-year quarterback from Notre Dame indicated he's not planning to simply hand over his number or his position.
Newton wore No.2 at Auburn and said Friday he'd like to keep it. He might have to set aside some bonus money for it.
"It's mine right now," Clausen said of the No.2 jersey. "We'll see what happens."
Has Clausen set an asking price?
He smiled and said again: "We'll see what happens."
It will be interesting to see what happens when Clausen and Newton are together on a football field - whenever that might be.
Coach Ron Rivera said Newton would have a chance to start, indicating coaches don't plan on taking a cautious approach with a player who had only one season as a major-college starter. Critics have questioned how quickly Newton will be able to pick up a pro offense after running a spread at Auburn.
The thinking on Clausen when he left Notre Dame after his junior year was he would be NFL-ready, having played in Charlie Weis' pro-style system. But Clausen slipped to the second round, then went 1-9 as a starter his rookie season.
He threw three touchdowns and nine interceptions, and finished as the league's lowest-rated passer.
The Panthers decided they needed another quarterback of the future.
But they apparently aren't ready to cast Clausen aside, yet - or at least they're not telling Clausen if that is the plan.
When Clausen arrived at Bank of America Stadium early Friday morning during the brief break in the lockout, he said general manager Marty Hurney and members of Rivera's staff were encouraging.
"I talked to some coaches and Marty and they said they want me on this team and they're going to give me the opportunity to compete," Clausen said. "That's all I can ask for is a chance to compete. It's going to be fun working with Cam and just competing each and every day."
Newton arrived in Charlotte on Friday for an introductory news conference, a day of meetings with team officials and corporate sponsors. On Saturday he was at Providence High for the kickball fundraiser for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
Panthers left tackle Jordan Gross, whose niece has cystic fibrosis, organized the event that raised nearly $100,000.
Newton had not packed for a kickball game. He wore khakis and brown dress shoes with his No.2 T-shirt, but he agreed to play third base in the second inning.
He handled his only chance - a short hop that he fielded cleanly and got a forceout at second.
Between innings, Tremaine "QCB" Sloan, a local comic serving as an emcee, asked Newton a question a young fan had submitted:
"How do you throw so far?"
"Wheaties and milk," Newton said.
Sloan had a question from another fan:
"How many Super Bowls do you expect to win with the Panthers?"
Newton paused for several seconds and said: "Let's just say a lot."
The crowd cheered.
Newton left an inning later to catch a flight. After the lockout was restored, he changed his travel plans.
He declined to speak to reporters as he was escorted to a sport utility vehicle by a couple members of the Panthers' security detail.
But Gross was pleased Newton came out.
"It was a whirlwind weekend (for Newton) being in New York, being in the spotlight, coming down here doing the interviews, meeting the owners," Gross said. "To take time to come down here, that says a lot. He didn't even have proper clothes to wear, which we were giving him a hard time about. But it's pretty neat that he showed up."
It's been a tough offseason for Clausen. He had surgery on his right foot to remove a neuroma, a coined-size thickening of nerve tissue near the ball of his foot.
His agent, Gary Wichard, died in March of pancreatic cancer. The lockout prevented any interaction between him and the new coaching staff.
And then the Panthers took a quarterback with the first pick in the draft.
But Clausen seemed to be enjoying Saturday, chewing on sunflower seeds and high-fiving infielders as he rounded the bases on a home run.
"Marty and the organization need to do what they had to do," Clausen said. "If they feel (Newton) is the best fit for the organization and the team to help the team, I'm looking forward to competing with him. He's a teammate of ours now, so you've got to embrace him and bring him in like anyone else."