CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WNCN) — The Carolina Panthers are releasing one-time MVP and three-time Pro Bowler Cam Newton, NFL sources say.
Newton was due to make a base salary of $18.6 million next season, but with the recent signing of Teddy Bridgewater to a lucrative deal (sources say three years, $63 million), it did not make sense to carry two high-priced quarterbacks on the roster, although releasing Newton gives the Panthers just $2 million in dead money.
Reports say the Panthers were finding a hard time trying to trade Newton, surprisingly in a league with so many quarterback-needy teams. The team reportedly looked to send Newton to the Chicago Bears or Los Angeles Chargers, but neither could get the deal done.
The Panthers recently signed XFL star PJ Walker and traded last season’s starter Kyle Allen to the Washington Redskins.
New Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule was on record saying that he was excited for the chance to work with Newton, but that didn’t mean he’d stick around.
A lot of things can change, and obviously they did, as shown by Newton’s recent social media comments about the team. Newton was quick to respond to the Panthers, saying he didn’t ask for a trade after news broke of his camp seeking one.
“Stop the word play!!” Newton tweeted. “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.”
Newton, the 2015 NFL MVP last played a full season in 2017 where the Panthers went 11-5. Since then, injuries have famously slowed his production.
Add that with new ownership and new coaching staff, things were bound to change for Newton.
Bridgewater brings a similar skillset to the Panthers and has familiarity with new offensive coordinator Joe Brady from their days with the New Orleans Saints.
Whoever ends up with Cam Newton will likely get a guy ready to show he still has a ton left in the tank. He’ll be motivated. He’ll be ready to go.