After nearly a decade in Carolina, an NFL MVP Award, and one trip to the Super Bowl, quarterback Cam Newton’s time with the Panthers has come to a close.
Newton was released on Tuesday, almost nine years after being drafted as the first overall pick in the 2011 NFL Draft by the NFC South franchise.
Few could have seen this coming just a few years ago when Newton was one of the league’s best players and the team’s leader, but injuries and circumstances have brought the quarterback’s time in Carolina to a close.
The Panthers announced last week that they granted Newton permission to seek a trade, just before the news that they would sign former Saints backup Teddy Bridgewater to a deal to become the team’s starter.
Newton denied that report emphatically, implying that his desire was to remain a Panther.
Now, after apparently finding no trade partners for the highly-paid quarterback, Carolina has decided to simply release him. They will save $19.1 million in salary-cap space by releasing him, money that was desperately needed after inking Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million contract.
Newton will be able to sign with any team after his release, opening up the possibility for the 30-year-old quarterback to revive his career elsewhere.