Jonathan Stewart played with Cam Newton for seven years when both were members of the Carolina Panthers. Stewart, who retired from the NFL in 2019, thought that Newton would be with the Panthers for his entire career, so when he heard that the team released him, he was very surprised. PopCulture.com recently spoke to Stewart, who revealed why he was not happy with the Panthers making the move.
"At the end of the day, when you get news of a tenure such as Cam Newton's come to an end, it's always going to be a surprise, whether if you knew about it or not," Stewart said on our PopCulture@Home series. "Everyone is going to be shocked. I was definitely one of those guys that wasn't a fan of the decision. I believe in Cam. I believe in his ability and I know that he's capable of as does I think a lot of people. Emotions aside, we know that Cam is a great quarterback. To see someone like that depart from the Carolina Panthers, it's heart-wrenching."
Newton had a strong career with the Panthers. He was named Offensive Rookie of the Year in 2011 and won the MVP award in 2015, the same year he led the team to the Super Bowl. Newton was selected to the Pro Bowl in 2015 — as was Stewart, who rushed for 989 yards and six touchdowns. Newton moved on from the Panthers as he signed a one-year deal with the New England Patriots replacing Tom Brady, who is now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Stewart is hoping Newton has a big year for Bill Belichick and company.
"I've been pulling for him the whole offseason," Stewart said. "New England Patriots was clearly one of those places where you would hope he'll land with the departure of Tom Brady. It's a great opportunity for him, a great opportunity for their organization, they're lucky to have him."
Newton and Stewart are arguably two of the best players in Panthers history. Newton is the Panthers' all-time leading passer (29,041 yards), and Stewart is the team's all-time leading rusher (7,318 yards). Stewart also holds the team record for rushing yards in a rookie season (836) and rushing touchdowns in the playoffs (5). Newton and Stewart are No. 1 and No. 2 on the team's all-time rushing touchdowns list. Newton recorded 58 rushing touchdowns while Stewart posted 51.