Cam Newton is the subject of ongoing trade discussions between the Carolina Panthers and Chicago Bears, according to multiple reports.
The Panthers are likely to release Newton if a trade partner doesn’t emerge for the former NFL MVP who has spent nine seasons in Carolina.
Chicago is shopping for a veteran to compete with Mitchell Trubisky at quarterback, and the Bears have been tied to Nick Foles (Jaguars) and Andy Dalton (Bengals) in addition to Newton.
Carolina gave Newton permission to seek a trade, which led Newton to sound off on the franchise.
“One of the distinct pleasures of my career was selecting Cam with the first pick in the 2011 draft,” general manager Marty Hurney said of Newton, who is a three-time Pro Bowl selection and 2015 NFL MVP, said earlier Tuesday.
“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.”
Newton, however, then took to social media to tell his version of the story.
“STOP WITH THE WORD PLAY!! i never asked for it!!” Newton wrote on Instagram. “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!!”
The Panthers’ decision comes one month removed from new head coach Matt Rhule telling reporters that the club wanted to keep their quarterback of nine years.
Newton has a salary cap figure of $21.1 million in 2020, including a base salary of $18.6 million. He signed a five-year, $103.8 million contract extension in 2015 that took effect with the 2016 season, and the team could free up $19 million in cap space by releasing or trading him.
“Cam is one of the all-time greats in Panthers history,” owner David Tepper said in a statement. “If you ask any of our fans of their most memorable moments, I’m willing to be that most of them would include Cam — electrifying plays, giving away footballs after touchdowns, fun celebrations and big wins. His competitiveness and drive are rare. Off the field, you can’t measure Cam’s contributions. He has touched the lives of youth throughout the Carolinas and in Atlanta. He’s unique and I wish him all the best.”
Newton had surgery in December for a Lisfranc injury in his left foot.
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