Quarterback Cam Newton’s time with Carolina Panthers has come to an end. Panthers announced on Tuesday that they have allowed Newton to seek a trade that would bring to an end his nine-year stint with the organization.
The news was confirmed by Panthers’ general manager Marty Hurney, who revealed that this was the result of a meeting he had with Newton and his camp.
“One of the distinct pleasures of my career was selecting Cam with the first pick in the 2011 draft,” said Hurney. “Every year difficult decisions are made and they are never easy. We have been working with Cam and his agent to find the best fit for him moving forward and he will always be a Carolina Panther in our hearts.”
Newton, who is recovering from a foot injury that limited him to just two games in 2019, offered a different side of the story. The 30-year-old went on social media shortly after the news broke, and said that he is “forced” into leaving the franchise.
“Stop with the word play. I never asked for it,” Newton wrote on Instagram. “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. Love”
Following Carolina’s decision to move on from Newton, the team is now expected to pursue one of the quarterbacks available on the free-agent market. According to ESPN’s Dianna Russini, Panthers will be especially aggressive trying to land former New Orleans Saints’ QB Teddy Bridgewater. The team also has second-year QB Will Grier and last year’s starter Kyle Allen on the roster.
Cam Newton will leave Carolina as the most accomplished quarterback in the franchise’s history. During his nine-year run with Panthers, Newton led the team to a Super Bowl appearance in 2015 while winning MVP honors in the same season. He also has three Pro Bowl appearances.
Newton holds numerous Panthers’ franchise records, including most career completions, passing yards, and passing touchdowns.