The Carolina Panthers gave franchise quarterback Cam Newton permission to seek a trade.
Owner David Tepper released a statement Tuesday that brought some level of finality to Newton’s tenure and closed with “I wish him the best.”
The decision comes one month removed from new Panthers head coach Matt Rhule telling reporters that the club wanted to keep their quarterback of nine years.
Newton, however, is owed $21.1 million in 2020, including a base salary of $18.6 million. He signed a five-year, $103.8 million contract in 2016 at age 27.
“One of the distinct pleasures of my career was selecting Cam with the first pick in the 2011 draft,” general manager Marty Hurney said Tuesday of Newton, who is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and 2015 NFL MVP.
“Every year difficult decisions are made and they are never easy. We have been working with Cam and his agent to find the best fit for him moving forward and he will always be a Carolina Panther in our hearts.”
Per ESPN’s Dianna Russini, the Panthers have shown interest in acquiring quarterback Teddy Bridgewater from the New Orleans Saints. Bridgewater, who likely is the odd-man out in the Saints’ three-quarterback carousel, completed 133 of 196 passes for 1,384 yards with nine touchdowns and two interceptions in nine games (five starts) this season.
Newton, 30, had shoulder surgery prior to the 2019 season and spent the offseason overhauling his nutrition and lifestyle choices. But he suffered a foot injury in the third preseason game in August at New England. After attempting to play through the injury, Newton was shut down for the season in September.
Newton had surgery in December for a Lisfranc injury in his left foot.
Overall, Newton has thrown for 29,041 yards, 182 touchdowns and 108 interceptions in 125 games (124 starts). He also has rushed for 4,806 yards and 58 scores.
Newton passed for 3,837 yards and a career-best 35 touchdowns while leading Carolina to the Super Bowl during his NFL MVP season in 2015. He was intercepted 10 times and also rushed for 636 yards and 10 touchdowns.
–Field Level Media