The other shoe has dropped. ESPN is reporting that the Carolina Panthers are expected to release quarterback Cam Newton after nine seasons, including one in which he led the team to the Super Bowl and was named the NFL MVP.
This move comes a week after the Panthers announced that they had given Newton permission to seek a trade and then signed former New Orleans Saints backup quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million deal. Referring to the trade talk, Cam tweeted that the Panthers “forced me into this.”
No offers were made by any other team, however, and the Panthers appear to be moving on without him anyway. Furthermore, the Panthers traded quarterback Kyle Allen to the Washington Redskins and signed P.J. Walker from the XFL’s Houston Roughnecks on Monday (3/23).
During his time with the Panthers, Cam Newton became the anchor of the offense and broke most of the team’s career passing records. Unfortunately, repeated foot and shoulder injuries diminished his production over the past two seasons. Despite those setbacks, I expect he’ll eventually find a place on another NFL roster for the upcoming season.
As sad as it is to watch #1 leave the Carolina Panthers, my memories of his dynamic style of play are happy ones. So are my memories of speaking with Cam. The last conversation I had with him was just prior to his foundation’s 2019 Kicking It With Cam kickball tournament. His generosity toward the Charlotte community has been as big as his smile. Thanks for everything and best of luck, Cam!