The Carolina Panthers released quarterback Cam Newton, the man who led them to Super Bowl 50, on Tuesday.
The decision ends Newton’s nine-year career with the Panthers. Carolina chose him as the No1 overall pick in the 2011 draft and he was named the 2015 NFL MVP, the season the Panthers reached the Super Bowl, where they lost to the Denver Broncos. At his best, Newton’s strong arm and skills as a runner made him a formidable player but he has struggled with shoulder and foot injuries in recent seasons.
Earlier this month the Panthers said they have given the 30-year-old permission to seek a trade but he replied on social media that he had not asked for one. “Stop the word play!!” Newton wrote in an Instagram comment. “I never asked for it!! There is no dodging this one; I love the Panthers to death and will always love you guys!! Please do not try and play me or manipulate the narrative and act like I wanted this: You forced me into this.”
When the Panthers signed free agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater last week, it was clear Newton’s career with the team was all but over. The Panthers also traded back-up quarterback Kyle Allen to Washington this week and brought in PJ Walker from the XFL.