Bills join Panthers as teams to dine with Auburn QB Newton

Cam Newton and his agents, Tony Paige and Bus Cook, had dinner with Buffalo Bills executives on the eve of his compelling pro-day workout Tuesday at Auburn, indicating more than a passing interest in the quarterback, senior analyst Gil Brandt reported Wednesday.

The Carolina Panthers, who own the No. 1 overall pick in April's NFL draft, also have dined with Newton, NFL Network insider Michael Lombardi reported.

The Bills have the third pick in the draft, and the temptation to select Newton, a potential franchise quarterback, likely grew after his impressive workout Tuesday.

Newton displayed rare arm strength and improved footwork during a 48-minute workout in front of representatives from all 32 teams (approximately 125 personnel members), including five head coaches -- Ron Rivera (Carolina Panthers), John Fox (Denver Broncos), Marvin Lewis (Cincinnati Bengals), Ken Whisenhunt (Arizona Cardinals) and Pat Shurmur (Cleveland Browns).

Unofficially, Newton threw 53 passes with receivers running routes and completed 42 of them with a few drops and several overthrows.

Ryan Fitzpatrick started 14 games for the Bills after replacing Trent Edwards during Buffalo's 4-12 2010 season. Edwards, a third-round draft pick in 2007, was cut in September and signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Fitzpatrick, meanwhile, completed 57.8 percent of his passes for 3,000 yards and 23 touchdowns. He also threw 15 interceptions.

The Bills haven't posted a winning record since 2004 and haven't reached the playoffs since 1999.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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