FILE – In this April 29, 2011, file photo, Carolina Panthers first-round draft pick Cam Newton answers a question after being introduced during an NFL football news conference at Bank of America Stadium in Charlotte, N.C. Cam Newton is a former league MVP and the long-time face of the Panthers franchise. But it’s hard not to wonder if his future in Carolina is coming to an end following his recent spate of injuries. (AP Photo/Bob Leverone, File)
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — The Cam Newton era is over in Carolina, as the Panthers released the 30-year-old quarterback after nine seasons.The move became a mere formality after the Panthers made it clear last week they were moving on from Newton by giving him permission to seek a trade and then agreeing to a three-year, $63 million contract with free agent quarterback Teddy Bridgewater about 90 minutes later.On Monday night, Newton posted on his Instagram account that he was “hungrier” now because he is “unemployed.”“Cam has meant a lot to this organization and the Carolinas,” Panthers General Manager Marty Hurney said in a statement Tuesday. “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.”Hurney added: “His contributions to this team, this community and the game of football will leave a lasting impact on our organization.”The breakup did not end well.After the Panthers announced Newton was free to seek a trade, the QB took to Twitter, posting a message directed at the front office that read, “Stop the word play!! I never asked for it!! 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.”Given the inevitable outcome of a Newton-Panthers breakup, it was not surprising that no teams were willing to trade for Newton.Newton now becomes a free agent and can sign with another NFL team immediately.The move frees up $19.1 million in salary cap space for the Panthers. They’ll have to absorb $2 million in dead cap money.Panthers All-Pro running back Christian McCaffrey thanked Newton on Instagram Tuesday, posting, “You changed the way I approach the game and put the fun back in it for me. I’ll always owe you for that. I speak for the Carolinas when I say thank you for all memories and smiles you brought us. Love!”Newton joined the Panthers in 2011 as the top pick in the draft after winning a national championship and the Heisman Trophy at Auburn. He stepped in right away as the team’s starting quarterback and threw for 400 yards in each of his first two starts.Newton went on to throw a franchise-record 29,041 yards and 182 touchdowns in nine seasons with the Panthers and ran for 58 touchdowns, the most ever by an NFL quarterback.His best season came in 2015 when he led the Panthers to a 15-1 record in the regular season and an NFC championship when he threw for 3,837 yards and combined for 35 touchdowns en route to earning league MVP honors.But Newton struggled in a 24-10 Super Bowl loss to the Denver Broncos and was widely criticized for not jumping on a loose ball after a strip-sack by Von Miller late in the game. Afterward, a downtrodden Newton answered questions about the loss with abbreviated answers before abruptly walking out of the interview session.Newton became a fan favorite on the field in Carolina early in his tenure, endearing himself to young fans by pretending to rip apart his jersey like Superman during touchdown celebrations and then giving the football away to young fans.On the field, he used his chiseled 6-foot-5, 240-pound frame to run over defenders in Carolina’s zone-read offense and his strength and elusiveness to turn almost certain sacks into runs for first downs.Sports on 03/25/2020
Print Headline: Newton released, set for free agency
Sponsor Content
Comments
Source link



Source link