Former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton faces an uncertain future.
Coach Ron Rivera and quarterback Cam Newton both joined the Carolina Panthers prior to the 2011 season. The No. 1 overall draft pick out of college, Newton immediately became the face of Panthers football as he ushered in a new fan culture of excitement, loyalty, and fun where many half-hearted supporters once stood.
An organization just 16 years in existence (at the time) many in the Carolinas had grown up having to root for other teams before founder Jerry Richardson brought the Panthers to Charlotte. As Newton grew in popularity, so too did many young fans support for their new hometown team. For nearly the next decade, Carolina would enjoy there most consistent success – ever.
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Now owner David Tepper is hoping to bring about the same change and rise to sustainable success with new coach Matt Rhule. After multiple cornerstone figures retired or departed in recent years – including this offseason, Newton remained as one lone influential holdover from the Rivera regime. Ultimately, it was decided he too should be removed and after not finding a suitable trade partner (under a questionable timeline) he was cut.
Since being removed, Newton has continued to work out while rehabbing foot and shoulder injuries, occasionally posting videos and pictures to his Instagram account. Although he never mentioned the Panthers franchise by name, he has stated, “they gave up on me” in what appears to be a reference to his former employer.
According to Jourdan Rodrigue of The Athletic, in a separate Instagram Live chat with NBA star and North Carolina native, Chris Paul, Newton addressed the ongoing quarantine and how he is a “fish out of water” no longer being a member of the Panthers. The only franchise he’s known since 2011, Newton enters free agency and negotiations with other teams for the first time in his career.
While where exactly Newton will play in 2020 remains a mystery, it’s a safe bet some team will take a chance on the former league MVP.