4 things we learned about the Panthers this offseason

(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey
(Photo by Jacob Kupferman/Getty Images) Christian McCaffrey /
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Cam Newton, Carolina Panthers
(Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images) Cam Newton /

Carolina Panthers No. 1: The new regime had no plans for Cam Newton

The primary focus for the Carolina Panthers this offseason was the situation regarding their quarterback position. Head coach Matt Rhule came into the role outlining his excitement of working with Cam Newton. But it is now evident these were just hollow words.

Newton was released at a time when most starting positions in the NFL had already been filled. The writing was on the wall for the player after Teddy Bridgewater joined the organization in the three-year, $63 million deal with a $15 million signing bonus and $33 million guaranteed during free agency. And this left the 2015 NFL MVP and large sections of the Panthers’ fanbase with a sour taste in the mouth.

The signal-caller has every right to feel hard done by after the sacrifices he made on the field. Newton propelled himself and the Panthers to superstardom during his time under center. And this has the potential to have huge ramifications on the franchise going forward.

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Bridgewater’s production is going to be under the microscope from the first snap to last. It is hard to root against the former first-round pick after what he’s been through to earn another starting chance. But those following Carolina will understandably be loyal to their ex-quarterback whom they idolized for the last nine years.

The Panthers should have made their feeling clearer regarding Newton’s future from the outset. It has painted them in a bad light. And it has the potential to leave their former face of the franchise on the free-agent scrapheap before he eventually took a bargain-basement deal with the New England Patriots.