5 biggest turkeys in Carolina Panthers franchise history

(Brian Bahr/Allsport via Getty Images) Rae Carruth
(Brian Bahr/Allsport via Getty Images) Rae Carruth /
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Carolina Panthers
(Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports) Cam Newton /

The handling of Cam Newton’s departure

Cam Newton‘s time with the Carolina Panthers was iconic. The quarterback took the organization onto the mainstream map with a fearless style of play that revolutionized the position.

The way he was dealt with this offseason, you wouldn’t think so.

Newton worked hard to come back from shoulder and foot injuries that kept him out for 18 months. He was medically cleared to play but Carolina and its new regime had different ideas and signed Teddy Bridgewater to a three-year, $63 million deal with a $15 million signing bonus and $33 million guaranteed.

In truth, the Panthers should have parted ways with Newton immediately after Bridgewater put pen to paper. Instead, they tried to get some trade value back for a player everyone knew would be released anyway, which Carolina eventually did when starting opportunities elsewhere were at a premium.

This sparked outrage from large sections of the team’s fanbase, who worshipped Newton from the moment he entered the league as the No. 1 overall pick. There is little disputing the fact that Carolina’s front office should have dealt with this situation with more compassion and it’s left some real bitterness from all parties involved.

Newton got another job after three months on the scrapheap when he signed a bargain basement deal with the New England Patriots. He’s done enough this season to get a bigger commitment either with his current team or elsewhere in 2021 and it will be some time before this wound begins to heal.