It’s the end of an era for both Carolina Panthers fans and Cam Newton. For the first time in almost a decade, Newton won’t be on the roster for the Panthers after being released by his franchise. It’s unchartered territory for Newton, but he seems pretty upbeat about the whole situation.
Thanks for the memories
Newton joined the Panthers in 2011 when they opted to bring him to the roster as the number one overall pick at the NFL Draft. The franchise had its pick of the players but ultimately felt like the quarterback was the best option for them. It seemed like a no-brainer really though, after Newton won the Heisman Trophy for his 2010 season in college.
The Panthers knew he had potential, and the franchise hoped he would unlock it while staring in their starting lineup. Newton didn’t waste too much time in helping the Panthers become a force, guiding them to the playoffs just two seasons after joining. He then had an outstanding 2015, winning the league MVP award and guiding the Panthers to the Super Bowl, but falling short at the final hurdle.
Injuries played their part
The year before Newton led the Panthers to the Super Bowl, he suffered an injury-plagued season, but still got on the field for 14 starts. Newton continued to be the starting quarterback for the Panthers until 2018 when he suffered a Lisfranc injury and a damaged shoulder. Those problems would keep Newton out of the starting lineup in the 2019 NFL season for all but two games.
It was clear there was still talent in there, but his body was apparently beginning to fail him. The star was a franchise player for the Panthers, but after missing him for almost the entire 2019 NFL season, tough decisions had to be made.
It seemed that with a heavy heart, the Panthers made the decision in 2020 to release Cam Newton. The NFL team issued a statement on its social media platforms highlighting Newton’s ability, the moments he created for Panthers fans, and his generosity off the field. Carolina’s owner, David Tepper, called Newton “one of the all-time greats in Panthers history.”
Despite the many accolades the owner was giving to Newton in the social media post, it was clear it was time to say goodbye. In cutting Newton from their roster, the Panthers were able to free up $19 million in salary-cap space.
Newton might go down as one of the greatest quarterbacks to miss out on winning a Super Bowl, especially after his MVP season. The quarterback was quick to respond on social media to his former team’s message. Newton declared himself “free and hungry” on social media, suggesting he’ll be playing football again sooner rather than later.
NFL franchises are always on the lookout for players of Newton’s talent at quarterback, and he might find himself reuniting with his old coach Ron Rivera in Washington. The only doubt hanging over Newton is his injury record, and if he’s deemed healthy, the quarterback will find himself a starting spot in no time.