As expected, the Carolina Panthers have released Cam Newton. The franchise made the move official moments ago.
A separation between Newton and the team that drafted him No. 1 overall in 2011 was inevitable. Things had been trending in this direction throughout the offseason. All that remained was seeing how the two sides would part ways.
Carolina reportedly sought to trade Newton at first, but when no buyer could be found, the team was forced to release the 30-year-old passer. Newton is now left to find his next opportunity on the free agent market. Provided he’s healthy, some teams will definitely come calling.
“Cam has meant a lot to this organization and the Carolinas,” Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said in a statement. “Everyone saw his performances on the field. I had the privilege of seeing how hard he worked off the field, and his commitment to this team when no one was watching. He’s the ultimate competitor and it physically hurts him to lose. He willed this team to victory on many occasions and will always be considered one of the greatest players in the history of this franchise. His contributions to this team, this community and the game of football will leave a lasting impact on our organization.”
— Carolina Panthers (@Panthers) March 24, 2020
Newton was a three-time Pro Bowler in Carolina and won the NFL Rookie of the Year Award in 2011 and the league MVP award in 2015. He leaves the Panthers as the franchise record-holder in passing yards, attempts and completions, as well as passing touchdowns, rushing touchdowns and wins by a quarterback.
Throughout his time with the Panthers, Newton was often forced to carry the load for an offense that was lacking perimeter talent. He was able to do that for several seasons before injuries took their toll.
Newton played in only two games in 2019 before shutting things down due to various ailments.