Are the Carolina Panthers unintentionally throwing more shade on former quarterback Cam Newton at training camp?
The Carolina Panthers parted ways with their former franchise player this offseason. Cam Newton propelled them into the national limelight during his time with the organization. And although this did not come with an elusive first Super Bowl. This does not detract from what an influential figure he became in the team’s rise to prominence.
There will come a time down the road when Newton will return to the Carolina Panthers and get the send-off he deserves. The 2015 NFL MVP was released in an acrimonious departure late in the free agency period. And it left the signal-caller with little options of starting elsewhere.
Thankfully for Newton, the New England Patriots gave him a realistic shot at being another team’s No. 1 option from the word go. He appears healthy judging by his social media activity in recent months. But he has been out of the game for around 18 months thanks to foot and shoulder injuries, so there is just no telling what sort of player we are going to see in a different environment.
The bitterness between Newton and the Panthers does not appear to be going away anytime soon. And speculation was rife on social media on Tuesday evening regarding Carolina possibly throwing even more shade his way at training camp.
The Carolina Panthers are using Cam Newton’s No. 1 jersey for injured players.
A video released by their social media team purports to show red-shirted players – which depicts those with an injury – at camp wearing Newton’s old No. 1 jersey during drills. This could be taken in many ways. And although it is probably innocuous. It has not stopped members of the Panthers’ fanbase forming their own opinion on the matter.
Whether this was an intentional shade or not is a moot point. But it is a further indication of the wound surrounding Newton’s departure still being fresh four months on.
The Panthers did not come out of this situation smelling of roses. And it is the latest example of the poor way proven contributors are treated on their way out of the door.
One could argue that Steve Smith and Greg Olsen also deserved better from the organization. The NFL is a cutthroat business. And with such an unprecedented offseason period thanks to COVID-19, it put Carolina in-between a rock and a hard place with whatever why they went with one of their greatest ever players.
Newton has plenty of incentive to prove the doubters wrong in 2020. He appears hungrier than ever to make a go of a second chance in the NFL. And nobody at the Panthers will be wishing him anything but the best.
The quarterback was a transcendent figure for the franchise. Teddy Bridgewater is now the man to lead Carolina forward through this period of transition. And if he fails to perform early on. It will not be long for those still loyal to Newton to make their feelings known.
No. 1 is not just a number in Carolina any more thanks to the exceptional contribution Newton made. This was probably all just a coincidence. But it is yet more fuel to the former Auburn sensation’s fire.