The Carolina Panthers shook up the NFL today, with the midseason firing of head coach Ron Rivera. Moments ago, Cam Newton issued a response via Instagram.
Rivera had been the Panthers’ head coach since 2011. He finishes with a 76-63-1 record, reaching the playoffs four times, with a Super Bowl run in 2015.
That year, he won NFL Coach of the Year for the second time, while Newton was named the NFL MVP. The two joined the Panthers the same season, with Ron Rivera landing the head coaching job a few months before the team made Newton the No. 1 overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft.
Newton clearly feels pretty strongly about Rivera, and had some nice things to say on Instagram after news of Rivera’s dismissal came down.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) December 3, 2019
From Cam’s post, which he did in the same bizarre font that he always uses:
“Will be forever grateful because of the impact you had on my life…
- Thank you for giving me an opportunity
- Thank you for believing in me
- I can go on & on but most importantly; thank you for allowing me to be me!!
…this one hurt deep!!”
It is unclear of Rivera’s firing is any indication of what may happen between Newton and the Panthers this offseason.
The former MVP has spent much of the last two seasons injured, and the team can move on from him pretty easily in the offseason if it wants, whether by trade or release.
Cam Newton will likely find a team to take a flyer on him as a starter, and Rivera shouldn’t have to wait too long for an opportunity. The Panthers clearly want a fresh start, but he is very well regarded, and will probably be one of the hotter names on the coaching carousel when things really get going in a few weeks.