Cam Newton is about to become a free agent. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Carolina Panthers are expected to release Newton on Tuesday. This comes after the team announced they have allowed the 2015 NFL MVP to seek a trade and that did not sit well with him. The Panthers recently signed quarterback Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million deal at the start of free agency.
"One of the distinct pleasures of my career was selecting Cam with the first pick in the 2011 draft," Panthers general manager Marty Hurney said in a statement last week. "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."
"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 for some of their most memorable moments, I'm willing to bet 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."
According to Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network, the Panthers tried to trade Newton to the Chicago Bears and the Los Angeles Chargers. However, the team could get work out a deal with the two teams and cutting him was the only option. The Bears recently traded for Nick Foles who was with the Jacksonville Jaguars and the Chargers are still looking for a starting quarterback after announcing Philip Rivers would not return.
Newton has been with the Panthers since 2011 and along with winning the MVP award in 2015, he led the Panthers to a Super Bowl appearance that same year. Newton also won Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2011 and he's been named to the Pro Bowl three times. Last year, Newton only played in two games due to a foot injury. This is not the ending Newton wanted as he was looking forward to playing for the Panthers in 2020 and beyond.
"Charlotte is home,'' Newton said back in November per ESPN. "Charlotte is a place I know people know me. They're not just assuming. They know how I am. They know my energy. They know what I like and what I don't like. For me to have that type of presence, it just reminds me that ... it's right."