Carolina Panthers ‘screwed over’ Cam Newton, says Stephen A. Smith
Stephen A. Smith did not mince his words when speaking about former Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton.
The Carolina Panthers decided to part ways with quarterback Cam Newton this offseason. The player remains on the proverbial NFL scrapheap more than two months after his release. And his departure still has plenty of bitterness attached to it.
This is down in no small part to the timing of Newton’s release. The Carolina Panthers signed Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million deal in free agency. Yet they waited a considerable period of time following this before eventually removing the 2015 NFL MVP from the franchise.
Whether this was down to the Panthers’ trying to get something in return for Newton via trade is up for debate. However, there is little disputing the fact that this had serious repercussions on his ability to earn a starting position elsewhere next season.
ESPN analyst Stephen A. Smith had plenty to say on why Newton wasn’t signed yet during a Monday segment on First Take. The outspoken figure claims that Carolina “screwed Cam over” and prevented him from landing somewhere of interest that could have seen him under center from the opening snap of 2020.
"“The Carolina Panthers screwed him over. Waiting until late March to let him go during a moment where teams were doing different things and had their situations set. Considering the level of capability that Cam has, by letting him go so late it compromised his leverage in getting what he was worth. He deserved better and they should have let him go considerably earlier. And because of the pandemic teams cannot work him out. They knew they wanted Teddy Bridgewater, so they should’ve let him go earlier.”"
Did the Carolina Panthers screw over Cam Newton?
It is such a shame that the situation between the Carolina Panthers and their former franchise player has come to this. Cam Newton propelled the organization to superstardom and came within a whisker of clinching their first-ever Super Bowl victory.
Whether the Panthers screwed over Newton is up for debate. The high likelihood is that the franchise did everything in their power to possibly get a draft pick in return. And they only released him once all other avenues had been exhausted.
This is not an ideal situation. And the Panthers have come out of it looking somewhat bad. But they did have their reasons for waiting so long.
They are in the early stages of their rebuild and another draft pick would have given them another bright young prospect for their roster in the event a team wanted Newton bad enough to give up a mid-rounder.
Judging by Newton’s recent workout videos. It appears highly unlikely he will still be a free agent by the time week one comes around. The sooner this happens, the quicker things can begin to heal between the franchise and one of its greatest ever players.